Stephen Cornford

Lecturer in Fine Art


Stephen joined Brookes in 2009 as an Early Career Research Fellow in Sonic Art and now teaches predominantly on the BA Fine Art course. His artistic practice spans media installation and audiovisual performance and he has presented this work globally in galleries, festivals and gigs. His teaching expertise covers installation and performance practices, video and experimental film, sound art and new media art.

Stephen studied Fine Art (Sculpture) at the Slade School of Fine Art, graduating with 1st Class honours in 2002. He subsequently studied for an MA in time-based arts practices at Dartington College of Arts, graduating in 2008 with a Distinction. He is currently studying for a practice-based PhD at Winchester School of Art under the supervision of Jussi Parikka and Ian Dawson.


  • U65531/3: Advanced Media Pathway – module leader and leader of Lens/Audio pathway
  • U65570: Research & Development
  • U65595: Major Project
  • U65571: Critical Essay


Stephen Cornford is a media artist whose work reconfigures consumer electronics into reflexive and expressive devices. Over the past decade he has created a body of work exploring the materiality and autopoeitic potential of media technologies as they fall into obsolescence. In these works both the functional imperative and content of the machine is abandoned as the focus falls on their own technicity.

This work has recently been exhibited in solo shows in Tokyo, Berlin, Bergen and Brighton and has been included in group exhibitions at the ZKM Centre for Art & Media, Karlruhe; ICC, Tokyo; Haus der Electronische Kunste, Basel and Signum Foundation, Venice.

Stephen’s PhD research seeks to reveal the structure of the digital image through direct material interaction with image sensors – the now ubiquitous photosensitive semiconductors which transduce light into data in all digital cameras. The work produced will provide a new vocabulary of experimental digital video processes, thereby redressing the almost complete lack of in-camera experimentation with the digital medium.

Stephen is an active member of the Sonic Art Research Unit, with which he founded the Audiograft Festival, an annual festival of sound art and experimental music taking place in Oxford. Under this banner he has curated exhibitions and performances by Rolf Julius, Zimoun, Mario de Vega, Phill Niblock, Billy Roisz, Pierre Berthet, Guy Sherwin, Jerome Noetinger & Lionel Marchetti, Minoru Sato and many others.

Research Dissemination

Solo Exhibitions

Constant Linear Velocity, Phoenix Gallery, Brighton, November 2016

Migration, Gallery 20202, Tokyo, November 2015

Archipelago, Rumpsti Pumsti, Berlin, January 2014

Binatone Galaxy, Lydgalleriet, Bergen, February 2013

Binatone Galaxy, Campbell Works, London, September 2011

Works for Turntable, Permanent Gallery, Brighton, August 2009

Selected Group Exhibitions

Sanatorium Dzwieku, Sokolowsko, Poland, August 2016

Auditiva, Nova Milanese, Italy, June 2016

Mois Multi Festival, Quebec, Canada, February 2016

Open Space 2014, ICC, Tokyo, 2014-15

Sonica, Ljubljana, Slovenia, November 2013

Urban Sounds, H-eK, Basel, September 2013

Pavillion 0, Signum Foundation, Venice, May 2013

Sound Art: Klang als Medium der Kunst, ZKM, Karlsruhe, 2012-13

Selected Publications

‘Machinic Augenmusik: in search of the surface noise of digital audio’ in Shifting Layers: New Perspectives in Media Archaeology across Digital Media and Audiovisual Arts, edited by Miriam de Rosa and Ludovica Fales, Mimesis International: 2016.

Stephen Cornford


School of Arts

Oxford Brookes University
Headington Campus
Gipsy Lane
Oxford, OX3 0BP