Tom Day

Lecturer in American Art and Interim Programme Manager, Centre for American Art

Tom is a historian of Film and Media art and American art after 1960. His interdisciplinary research is concerned with the moving image as both a subject and practice in modern and contemporary art with a particular focus on the role of cinema and television in the Pop art movement; the history of TV art and the New York Downtown Avant-Garde of the 1970s and 1980s.

Tom was educated at the University of Sussex and the University of Edinburgh where, after completing his PhD, he was a Teaching Fellow at the Edinburgh College of Art where he organised courses on the history of film and media and oversaw all final year dissertations in the School of Design and Screen Cultures. He previously held a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art/Yale Center for British Art where he worked on a project titled ‘Making it Function Differently: TV Sculpture’ which looks at a variety of artists from the 1960s and 1970s who employed television monitors as elements in radical sculptural assemblages. He was the 2020-2021 Terra Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for American Art at the Courtauld.

He is currently writing a monograph on the influence of television in the East Village art scene of the 1980s, with a particular focus on the role  television had as a site of queer affirmation; problematic representation; generational trauma and spectacle. Artists examined in the project include Jean-Michel Basquiat, Gretchen Bender, Keith Haring, Ann Magnuson and Tom Rubnitz.

Tom regularly teaches public courses for the Courtauld on American art. Most recently he has led courses on Californian art after 1945 and on the New York Downtown Avant-Garde and will offer a Summer School course on Pop art in 2021.

In 2021-2022 he will be leading a brand new MA at the Courtauld entitled ‘”Drop Dead” New York: Art, Film and Activism Downtown, 1971-1992’.

 


Education

PhD (Edinburgh)

MA, BA (Sussex)


Teaching

BA1 Topics: Contemporary Art in London Collections

BA3 Special Option: Video Art Since 1965

MA in History of Art: “Drop Dead” New York: Art, Film and Activism Downtown, 1971-1992

Public Programmes: Beyond the Brillo Box: Re-Examining Pop Art, 1947-1989

Public Programmes: Uptown, Midtown, Downtown: An Art-Historical Tour of Manhattan, c.1920-1970, Friday 1 – Sunday 3 October 2021


Recent Talks

  • ‘Spectacle Nation: The Political Imaginary of Television and the Configuration of the Human in the Art of Keith Haring’, American Art and the Political Imagination March 18–19, 2022, The Courtauld Institute of Art, London.
  • ‘Jeff Keen’s Pop Cinema Collage: The Saturation of Media and the Politics of Images’, Conference: Cutting Edge: Collage in Britain, 1900-Now, Tate Britain, October 2021.
  • ‘False Advertising: The Reception of Television and the Creation of Art in the East Village’, part of lecture series ‘The Moving Image as Subject and Practice in American Art, 1900-1990’, Courtauld Institute of Art, March 2021.
  • With Jo Applin, ‘Jann Haworth in Conversation’,‘The Moving Image as Subject and Practice in American Art, 1900-1990’, Courtauld Institute of Art, March 2021.
  • ‘Times Square as Readymade: William Klein’s Broadway by Light (1958)’, part of the panel ‘Towards a Pop Cinema’, co-organised with Glyn Davis, Society of Cinema and Media Studies, Annual Conference, Denver, April 2020 [Cancelled]
  • ‘Jeff Keen’s Pop Cinema Collage: The Saturation of Media and the Politics of Images’, Conference: Cutting Edge: Collage in Britain, 1900-Now, Tate Britain, 27–28 March 2020 [Postponed]
  • ‘Pop Eats Itself: Andy Warhol Eating a Hamburger (1982)’, Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Seminar Series, May 2019
  • ‘The Temporality of Moving-Image Décollage’, part of the panel ‘Invisible Images’, Society of Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, Seattle, March 2019
  • ‘John’s Movies: Sincerity, Stupidity and Metamodernism’, Film-Philosophy Annual Conference, University of Gothenburg, 3-5 July 2018

Conference Organiser/Co-Organiser:

  • With Fiona Anderson (Newcastle University), ‘Approaching Downtown: Avant-Garde Cultural Production in New York City, 1970s-1990s –  An Interdisciplinary Workshop’, Courtauld Intitute of Art, 11-14 July, 2022
  • ‘The Moving Image as Subject and Practice in American Art, 1900-1990’, artist talk and lecture series, Courtauld Institute of Art, March-June 2021.
  • ‘Towards a Pop Cinema’, panel ‘Towards a Pop Cinema’, co-organised with Glyn Davis, Society of Cinema and Media Studies Annual Conference, Denver, April 2020 [Cancelled].
  • ‘Edinburgh College of Art Postgraduate Seminar Series’, May 2019-May 2020
  • ‘Border Crossings: A Workshop on Film and the Other Arts’, University of Edinburgh, 11 May 2018.
  • ‘Don’t Look: Representations of Horror in the 21st Century’, Conference, University of Edinburgh, 28 April 2018 (Reviewed in Journal of European Popular Culture, 9:2 (2018), 131-134)

Research Interests

  • American Art after 1960
  • Film, Video and Media Art
  • New York Downtown Avant-Garde, 1960s-1990s
  • Intermediality
  • Pop Art
  • Gender and Sexuality

Publications

Books

  • TV Generation: Television and Art in the East Village, 1978-1987 (In preparation)
  • Pop Cinema, co-edited with Glyn Davis (under contract with Edinburgh University Press, 2022)

Articles

Book Chapters

  • ‘Cycles of Censorship: David Wojnarowicz’s A Fire in My Belly (1986-1987/2010) and the politics of queer moving-image art’, in Mark McKenna (ed.) Screening Controversy (Routledge, forthcoming)
  • ‘Broadway by Light (1957) and William Klein’s Pop between Stillness and Movement’, in Tom Day and Glyn Davis (eds.) Pop Cinema (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming)
  • ‘Towards a History of Pop Cinema’, co-authored with Glyn Davis, in Tom Day and Glyn Davis (eds.) Pop Cinema (Edinburgh University Press, forthcoming)
  • ‘Pop Collage and the Pop Underground: Craig Baldwin’s Wild Gunman (1978)’, Craig Baldwin: Avant To live! (in press, Incite! Journal of Experimental Media and The San Francisco Cinematheque, February 2021)

Citations