Rupert Griffiths is a London-based artist, writer, and cultural geographer and a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Goldsmiths, University of London. His work explores the landscape imaginaries of artists, focusing upon neglected, abandoned, or ruined landscapes in urban and rural areas. He considers representations of landscape in terms of the practices from which they emerge, paying attention to materiality, tool use, the body, and memory.
He has a PhD in Social and Cultural Geography from the Royal Holloway University of London, which considers the practices and geographical imaginaries of artists in relation to east London urban margins under the rubrics of the uncanny, contamination, and the organism. This work engages with discourses that seek to dissolve distinctions between nature/culture and subject/landscape, most notably non-representational theory and posthuman approaches to landscape. He previously received an MA in Architecture and Urbanism from the Manchester School of Architecture, which considers the historical layering of infrastructure in Manchester and its relation to disuse and creativity. This was presented as book Fragmented Townscape, a counterinterpretation of Gordon Cullen’s Concise Townscape, which considers the visual coherence of cities.
In collaboration with James Thurgill, he also organised Uncanny Landscapes at the Centre for Creative Collaboration in London. This five-day international conference consisted of a series of seminars, workshops, and an exhibition that brought together artists and academics whose work addresses ambiguities between subject, object, and landscape. Additionally, his collaboration (SSG) with artist and archaeologist Lia Wei has contributed to the practices and discourses of experimental fieldwork in archaeology, tracing fictional trajectories between the abandoned military ruins of England’s south-east coast and Han rock-cut burial sites in south-west China. This collaboration forms the basis of a chapter in a forthcoming book Reimagining Rurality, which developed out of the Reimagining Rurality conference at Westminster University in 2015, and a chapter in a forthcoming book related to the experimental fieldwork and the rural edgelands that they discussed at the Contemporary and Historical Archaeology (CHAT) conference in Orkney, 2016. More recently, he and Xinwei Zhu were invited to guest edit an issue of Art World (艺术世界), one of China’s most influential art magazines, under the title of Art and Waste (艺术与废弃物).