Portrait of Dr Spencer Roberts Dr Spencer Roberts

s.roberts@hud.ac.uk | 01484 471817


I am primarily interested in the confluences between art, design, philosophy and technology. I gained a PhD in Fine Art from the University of Hertfordshire where supervisorial input was shared between the Department of Art and Design and the Department of Philosophy. I also hold a BA in Philosophy from the University of Hull, and an MSc in Interactive Multimedia Production from the University of Huddersfield.

I currently teach art, design and animation theory alongside a general departmental lecture program that explores the application of Deleuzian thought in the context of the visual arts. My PhD thesis developed a Deleuzian, process-philosophical perspective on artistic research, whilst contesting the design-led critique of the non-traditional thesis.

My artistic practice focuses on code and electronics as material forms of expression, exploring spatiotemporal relations through digital text-based experimentation.

Research and Scholarship

My thesis positioned academic textual production as a long-durational, corporeal aesthetic process. It focused upon developing a material account of writing as the construction of a body of inter-textual, affective and material relations. It was primarily informed by the work of Henri Bergson and Gilles Deleuze.

My current research explores design and animation as critical, speculative and expanded modes of practice, interrogating their capacities for material, social and experiential transformation.

Research Areas

Process Philosophy, Object Oriented Ontology, Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze, Research as practice, Expanded Animation, Expanded Design, Affect Theory, Transformative Animation, Transformative Design, Open Design, Relational Design.


Two years of AHRC funding.

Publications and Other Research Outputs


Roberts, S (2017) ‘Constructing the Aesthetico-Conceptual: Deleuze, Derrida and Artistic Research’. In: Taking flight: assembling, becoming, queering - 10th International Deleuze Studies Conference, 19-21 June 2017, Toronto, Canada


Roberts, S (2016) ‘Algo-Mech: Algo(rhythms) and Mech(animisms)’. In: ALGOMECH 2016, 12/11/16 - 19/11/16, Sheffield Institute of Arts

Roberts, S (2016) ‘(In)Animate Semiotics: Virtuality and the Illusion(s) of Life’. In: Deleuze Studies Conference 2016, 11th - 13th July 2016, Department of Philosophy, Communication and Visual Arts of University of Roma Tre

Roberts, S (2016) ‘Graphic AffectMessage Journal, Edition 3: What is the topography of the contemporary graphic design / communication landscape in relation to art practice? What occupies the space between disciplines? (ISBN: 9781841024110) , 3 (3), pp. 7-32.

Roberts, S (2016) ‘On scratching your own itchDigital Creativity , 27 (2), pp. 143-162. ISSN 1462-6268


Roberts, S (2015) ‘For (and Against) Biggs and Büchler’. In: The Dark Precursor: International Conference on Deleuze and Artistic Research, 9th - 11th November 2015, Ghent, Belgium


Pettican, A. and Roberts, S.(2014) Dreams of East Asia [Show/Exhibition]


Roberts, S (2012) ‘Deleuze and the Aesthetics of Relation’. In: Deleuze, Philosophy, Transdisciplinarity, 105h-12th February 2012, Goldsmiths College, University of London


Roberts, S (2011) ‘Process, Composition and DifferenceRadar , 1 (2), pp. 15-16. ISSN 2049-4327

Wilson, L. and Roberts, S.(2011) Pane [Show/Exhibition]

Roberts, S (2011) ‘Rhythm, Relation, Concept and Practice: A Process Relational View’. In: Doctoral Education in Design Conference 2011, 23-25th May, 2011, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University


Roberts, S (2009) Beckett Machine [Show/Exhibition]

Roberts, S. and Pettican, A. (2009) ‘The Typewritten Gesture’. In: Research Festival, 23rd March - 2nd April 2009, University of Huddersfield, UK.


Pettican, A. and Roberts, S.(2008) Tie Me in a Dream [Show/Exhibition]

Pettican, A. and Roberts, S.(2008) Rhetorical Line [Show/Exhibition]


Roberts, S. and Pettican, A. (2007) ‘Newsdrip – An (A)Political Flow’. In: Architecture in the Space of Flows, 21st - 24th June 2007, University of Newcastle, UK

Roberts, S (2007) ‘The Beckett Machine: Something Mechanical Encrusted Upon the Living’. In: Repeat:Repeat, 19th - 20th April 2007, University of Chester, UK


Pettican, A. and Roberts, S. (2006) Reasonable Doubt [Video]

Pettican, A. and Roberts, S.(2006) Newsdrip [Phase four]. (Unpublished).

Pettican, A. and Roberts, S.(2006) INCH, Rhetorical Line, Mine. (Submitted).

Roberts, S (2006) ‘Process:Processed’. In: Wandering with Spinoza, 13th - 15th September 2006, The Centre for Ideas, Victorian College of the Arts – Melbourne, Australia


Pettican, A. and Roberts, S.(2003) Chorus [Show/Exhibition]

Pettican, A. and Roberts, S.(2003) A Hidden Spectacle [Show/Exhibition]


Pettican, A. and Roberts, S.(2000) Look East, Look West [Show/Exhibition]


Co-Owner: Art-Technology JISC mailing list .

Finalist for Inspirational Teaching in University wide Thank You Awards, 2015.

Invited Speaker, TVAD (Theorising Visual Art) research group, University of Hertfordshire.

Practice reviewed in Art Monthly, September 2009.

Collaborative work with Anneke Pettican cited in White Heat Cold Logic: British Computer Art 1960-1980 (Leonardo Books).

Research Degree Supervision

  • Philosophy and technology.
  • Henri Bergson, Gilles Deleuze, Process Philosophy, New Materialism, Object Oriented Ontology.
  • Research as practice.
  • Art and Design futures.
  • Expanded animation, expanded design.
  • Transformative Design

Teaching and Professional Activities

I lead final year theory modules in design and animation and help students to philosophically contextualize their art, design and animation practice. I also teach electronics and programming languages (Java/Processing, PHP, MySQL)  to designers, animators and artists (Arduino, PIC Microcontrollers).