About me

Vanessa Bartlett is a researcher and curator working between Australia and the UK. She is a PhD candidate at UNSW Art & Design, where her research investigates connections between digital technologies and psychological distress through reflective curatorial practice.

In 2015 she curated Group Therapy: Mental Distress in a Digital Age with Mike Stubbs for FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology) Liverpool, UK. This exhibition was visited by over 17,000 people and received coverage in international media outlets such as the BBC World Service. A second iteration of Group Therapy was shown at UNSW Galleries, Sydney in 2017 as part of The Big Anxiety – festival of art + science + people.

In 2017 Vanessa collaborated with artist Katriona Beales and neuroscientist Henrietta Bowden-Jones on the Wellcome Trust funded research project Are We All Addicts Now? This was the first interdisciplinary investigation into the emerging and contested diagnostic territory of internet addiction. Outcomes included an exhibition of work by Beales and Fiona MacDonald: Feral Practice held at Furtherfield, London and a symposium convened by Vanessa held in collaboration with the Art/Design and Science Research Group at Central Saint Martins.

Vanessa’s recent academic writing has been published by Bloomsbury Methuen, Taylor & Francis and in the proceedings of ISEA: International Symposium on Electronic Art in 2015 and 2017. She has edited two books for Liverpool University Press. Are We All Addicts Now? Digital Dependence was co-edited with neuroscience researcher Henrietta Bowden Jones and features contributors from the fields of anthropology, digital culture, psychology and philosophy. Group Therapy: Mental Distress in a Digital Age [A User Guide] mixes provocations and personal testimony by artists, designers and people with lived experience to challenge perceptions of mental health for a digital age.

Vanessa currently works as Research Assistant on the ARC funded Curating Third Space: The Value of ArtScience Collaboration with Dr. Lizzie Muller, Prof. Jill Bennett and Prof. Lynn Froggett at UNSW Art & design. In 2009 she was Research Assistant for the EPSRC Digital Economies cluster funded project Environment 2.0 Creative Assemblages, with FutureEverything, Lancaster University, Goldsmiths London and University of Exeter.

3 thoughts on “About me

  1. Hello, I’m a Creative/Development Producer-Series Television in Vancouver, B.C., Canada & have always enjoyed your articles. Did you run the half marathon in aid of St.Mungo’s?. I have always been a supporter of art’s for mental health and have put together a group who are in pre production of a Canadian film screening event for this summer in aid of Vancouver Detox and Coastal Mental Health. May I keep you informed on the progress of our film screening event?
    Peter Carr

  2. Hi Vanessa, someone just mentioned you to me and I wondered if you’d be interested in our event in Nottingham 23-27 Feb 2015. Arcintex is a research network for smart textiles, interaction design and architecture, and we’re running a series of workshops and symposium with the theme of mental wellbeing, particualrly through the lens of the Person Centred Approach (attached to an EPSRC project). It’s free and you can register at http://arcintex.hb.se/.
    Best wishes, hope to make it up to FACT, Sarah

  3. Hi Sarah,

    I am sorry that I am only just replying to this. With the exhibition about to go live at FACT I am in the peak of a very busy period! Sadly it wasn’t possible for me to get to this, due to other deadlines etc. However I love that you are using a ‘Personal Centred Approach’ and hope to hear more about your projects in the future

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