Caitlin Shepherd

“The more radically I get it wrong when imaging the analog of your inner state in myself, the less I succeed in understanding yours. The less I succeed in understanding yours, the more the coordination of our actions must depend on convention or force or detailed verbal agreement”

︎ Adrian Piper, 1991, p.726

“The most Gothic description of Capital is also the most accurate. Capital is an abstract parasite, an insatiable vampire and zombie- maker; but the living flesh it converts into dead labor is ours, and the zombies it makes are us.”

︎ Mark Fisher, 2009, p.19

“It seems that there are at least two ways of thinking of listening in terms of political action: listening together with others in order to become aware of your own conditions…and listening as a willingness to change them through collective effort. The willingness can be actualised in terms of political organising, protesting or simply getting involved in some kind of social struggle…”

︎ Lucia Farinati & Claudia Firth, 2017,p.21

I'm an artist, researcher and educator concerned with making socially engaged site specific artwork. I use print design, sound installations and built structures as mediums to explore and listen to personal stories of everyday life, with particular interest in  lived experiences of class identity, precarity and economic inequality.  I have a background in creative activism, having helped organise climate camp (2009 - 10), co-founding and directing award winning campaigns at This is Rubbish (2010 - 2015) and working as a campaigner at Oxfam (2012 - 14). 

I'm currently a PhD candidate at UWE DCRC, part of the 3d3 consortium. My praxis-research examines how working-class identity and experience is excluded from socially engaged art (and the creative industries at large), and what can be done through practices of situated listening, consciousness raising (CR) and critique to address such exclusions.

Through my praxis-research, I evaluate meeting-listening processes as a method of challenging exclusory tendencies of the art world and society at large. Essentially, I’m interested in how we listen, where we listen, the affective potential of listening to each other, and if listening to marginalized working-class voices has aesthetic, political and social impact and value.

I see teaching as an integral part of my creative praxis. It’s a space where I get to explore new ideas, apply my praxis-research and enter into dialogue with and learn from students and peers. In my teaching praxis, I draw on slow design and participatory learning principles, using teaching and learning methods such as iterative experimentation, critical-reflection, engaged pedagogy and sharing stories of everyday  life. I’m currently a student on the UAL PgCert in Academic Practice in Art, Design and Communication. I see my role as an educator as enmeshed and informed by a commitment to ongoing learning as a student, as well as a teacher.

I’ve received a range of awards for my work and exhibited widely. I continue to present my work at academic conferences and public events. Most recently, I shared work at the Radio as Social Media Conference at the University of Siena and Internoise in Madrid. I’ve recently (2020) become a member of The Creative Research into Sound Arts Practice Research Centre. In August (2020) I was selected to be artist in residence working on the Curious Loop programme.

Alongside my praxis, I'm unit leader and lecturer in contextual and theoretical studies at LCC, University of the Arts London. I also tutor on the Interaction Design Communication MA at LCC. I was recently (2020) academic lead on the Shared Campus Summer School, Hacking Global Pop Icons. Student work can be seen here. Outside of, but related to my praxis-research, I’m currently involved with setting up a housing co-op in mid-Wales.