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Below you can find a list with embedded links to fuller information about the key research projects we are currently involved with (A-Z). Details about the public-facing aspects of those projects can be gleaned from the Events page and the list of recent/upcoming events and new outputs on the Home page. 

The AWP was inaugurated in 2017 to consolidate over 20 years of excellent practice-led research into the production, distribution and critical reception of artists’ publications and writings. A history of previous projects will slowly be added, with documentation where possible, to this page as well.

Editing Artists

The AWP creates a context at the University of Leeds for speculative arts practice and ambitious scholarship to together lead and enrich teaching as well as influence the fields of art criticism and history. For example, critical editorial work by the AWP team includes Nick Thurston guest-edited issue of Amodern vol.1:6 (2016) and his volume of selected writings by the Czech artist Pavel Büchler, Somebody's Got To Do It (Ridinghouse, 2017). Related work by Affiliated Researchers includes Martin Iddon's collection John Cage and David Tudor: Correspondence on Interpretation and Performance (Cambridge, 2013) and Griselda Pollock's Differencing the Cannon: Feminism and the Writing of Art's Histories (Routledge, 1999). Such work connects directly with an aim to think with practitioners and their practices, an aim that also underpins the regular series of Visiting Artists' Talks convened by Nick Thurston at the University of Leeds. 


Dr Chris Taylor and AWP PhD researcher John McDowall have been collaborating on an integrated programme of initiatives relating to artists' books, their production, display and collection since 1998. Now consolidated as PAGES, their projects include exhibitions, workshops, publications, symposia, commissioned book works, audio/video and performance works, and the annual International Contemporary Artists’ Book Fair

Publishing as Praxis

Through practice-led and scholarly work, Nick Thurston has proposed an expansive and influential understanding of publishing as a mode of literary-artistic work. Talks, interviews, essays and experimental artworks by him have developed and shared these ideas internationally. They were also the basis of his Visiting Research Fellowship in Contemporary Writing at the University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, 2016) and his forthcoming monograph on the topic.

Research Network

With partners at the British Library, Tate Library & Archives and the V&A National Art Library we have begun a UK-based research network that aims to share knowledge and best practice with national and international organisations who are committed to collecting and/or presenting artists' writings and publications. The network's focus is on collections development, audience development, the commissioning of new work and the reception of non-English-language writings and publications. Early outputs include the AWP Annual Symposium 2016, 'Unpacking the Library'.

Speculative Libraries

An on-going, multi-faceted project about the changing connections between contemporary art and libraries. The titular phrase was coined by Nick Thurston in 2013 (Liverpool Biennial Lectures series) to describe several libraries-as-artworks he had been involved in making since 2009. He convened a panel at the Association of Art Historians 2017 Annual Conference under the title (session 29) and has developed several other public fronts, including exhibitions at Foksal Gallery (Warsaw, 2017) and the Centre for Contemporary Arts (Glasgow, 2017).

To enquire about work experience and research opportunities on any of the above projects, please contact the Principal Investigator or Project Leader.