Call for funded PhD: Networked Curating

The Centre for the Study of the Networked Image (CSNI) and Whitechapel Gallery are pleased to invite applications for a full time, funded PhD commencing in April 2021 or ASAP.

Deadline for applications is 21 March 2021 at 5pm.

We are interested in projects that examine the potential of networks — social and technological — for an expanded curatorial practice. The topic emphasises the materiality and technics of the network apparatus, which has opened up new ways of thinking about the agency of machines and their interactions with humans. Given that the current pandemic has prompted museums, galleries and arts institutions to look anew at their use of the internet as a curatorial space rather than simply as a means of dissemination of information, our interest is how the technologies we use to curate exhibit curatorial agency, and how this enables new kinds of relations between curators and technologies (or more broadly, humans and machines). Our interests extend to the implementation of automation and machine intelligence in the art field; emergent forms of knowledge dissemination using collaborative online platforms; and new models of curatorial practice. 

Questions could be: What new challenges does online, networked culture present to curating contemporary art in galleries and museums? How are audiences constituted, maintained and engaged in and by online curation? In what ways do algorithms, search engines and platforms curate cultural value? How do human and machines collaborate to curate? What do galleries and museums need to do organisationally to engage with the media ecology of network culture? 

The position complements the launch of our collaborative MA Curating Art and Public Programmes in September 2021, and an ongoing series of public events that it is envisaged the candidate would help to shape. 

These initial ideas are not meant to be exhaustive of our interests and are used here as illustrations. Proposals should indicate what your research topic responds to, what question and problems it addresses, and an initial suggestion of method and approach. Proposals can be practice-based, empirical fieldwork and/or theoretical in nature. We are interested in proposals for curatorial research both in a general sense as well as the specific context of the Whitechapel Gallery and its institutional character and history. 

About our partner Whitechapel Gallery 

Founded in 1901, the Whitechapel Gallery is a touchstone for contemporary art internationally, plays a central role in London’s cultural landscape and is pivotal to the continued growth of the world’s most vibrant contemporary art quarter. Distinguished for its pioneering exhibitions and public programmes for over a century, the Gallery offers visitors the opportunity to engage with a rich community of international creative practitioners who are regularly invited to exhibit their work and share ideas as part of the Gallery’s yearly programme of events. 

Guidance for applicants 

Please submit the following documents: 
– Cover letter (outlining your interest and suitability for this opportunity) and CV 
– PhD proposal of maximum two A4 pages (please ensure that you use 12pt font) 
– Names and contact details of two referees 

Deadline: 21 March 2021, by 5pm.
Send it by email to Rumel Ahmed: rumel.ahmed (AT)
with the subject line: ACI PhD Scholarship 

Note: The shortlisted candidates will be interviewed online in the week commencing 29 March 2021 and it is hoped that the successful candidate will enrol as soon as possible thereafter for the Spring Term 2021. 

The scholarship includes a fee waiver at the Home rate and a tax-free stipend of £15,000 per annum for three years. This PhD scholarship is open to UK residents who qualify. Applicants are expected to have a good honours degree (2.1 and above). You will be required to show proof of all your qualifications, and you will be asked to supply two academic references as part of admission process. If English is not your first language you will be required to prove your competency in English, showing an IELTS scores of at least 7.0 at postgraduate level. 

For any questions about ACI PG Programmes please contact Dr Elena Marchevska: e.marchevska (AT) 

For any questions about the scholarship please contact Dr Geoff Cox: geoffcox (AT) 

image: Courtesy Whitechapel Gallery