Dr. Vanessa Bartlett is a researcher and curator born in the Northwest of England and living on the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation, Melbourne, Australia. She is interested in ways that curatorial and arts-led research can support inquiry into emotion and affect in a digital age. She has a track record of scholarly research and practice across digital art, curating, art and science, practice-led research and digitally mediated performance.
Her current project explores artists’ responses to ‘persuasive design’ — design techniques used in social and commercial interfaces to encourage consumption or increase time on device. She asks how artists might illuminate what persuasive designers overlook; the social, sensory and affective repercussions of behavioural and emotional regulation.
Vanessa has edited two books for award-winning academic publisher Liverpool University Press (UK), the most recent of which was co-edited with neuroscience researcher Henrietta Bowden Jones (OBE). She has been published in the most esteemed digital arts journals; Digital Creativity, Leonardo and International of Journal of Performance Art and Digital Media, and twice in proceedings of the International Symposium of Electronic Arts. Her exhibitions at major international arts spaces, such as FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), UNSW Galleries and Furtherfield, have been seen by over 40,000 people internationally and have featured in The Guardian, Creative Review and BBC Radio 4.
Originally trained as an artist, Vanessa has produced and curated ambitious projects with a range of international visual and performance artists such as Brody Condon, Ubermorgen, the vacuum cleaner and Hanna Tuulikki. She has delivered talks and workshops at Tate (Liverpool), The Science Museum (London) Wellcome Collection (London) and Grey Projects (Singapore).
In January 2020 Vanessa was appointed McKenzie Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the University of Melbourne.