Dr Kate Southworth

Job title
Senior Lecturer, BA Fine Art (Second Year Course Coordinator)
01326 370733 Ext: 1733

Kate studied Fine Art at Manchester Polytechnic and in the early 1990s began working with the internet as a way of making and disseminating work. To develop her knowledge of computing, distributed networks and systems thinking she undertook an MSc in Multimedia Systems, passing with distinction. Her PhD in Fine Art from the University of Leeds focused on the distributed network form in contemporary art and Bracha Ettinger's Matrix Theory. Since then her work has focused on the relationship between art and distributed networks. 

Kate was part of the Glorious Ninth collective from 2001 to 2011, producing net art and distributed art and curating arts-related events. Her net art work has been exhibited widely at festivals in Seoul, Buenos Aires, Dublin, London, Michigan and elsewhere, and is archived in numerous online collections, such as Rhizome, Soundtoys and Net Art Idea Line on the Artport website of the Whitney Museum of Modern Art. Her distributed art works embed themselves in everyday life but also find form within gallery contexts: Cultural Capital (2009), for example, was part of the Craftivism exhibition at Arnolfini.

Kate taught on undergraduate and postgraduate multimedia courses at universities in London and Dublin before joining Falmouth University in 2002 as course leader of MA Interactive Art & Design. Kate led the iRes Research Cluster in networked art from 2003 to 2010, she was award leader of MA Curatorial Practice and is now a senior lecturer and second year course coordinator on BA(Hons) Fine Art.


YearQualificationAwarding body
PhD Fine Art
University of Leeds
MSc Multimedia Systems (Distinction)
London Guildhall University
BA (Hons) Fine Art
Manchester Polytechnic

Membership of external committees

Member of the Board of Trustees, The Borlase Smart John Wells Trust Limited (Studios for Artists in Cornwall) 2013-Present
Editorial Committee Member, Fibreculture Journal (International peer-reviewed journal on digital media, networks and transdisciplinary critique), 2009-Present
Advisory Board Member, Bespoke, EPSRC funded research project, 2009-11
Advisory Board Member, Furtherfield.org, Media Arts Organisation, London, 2005-10
Advisory Board Member, Look Groups Pilot Project, Tate St Ives, 2009-10

Research interests

Research interests and expertise

My research is on the distributed network form and the ways in which it is both utilised and resisted in contemporary art and curating. In particular I am interested in work that is made up of disparate, dispersed elements that exist in different places at different times. Underpinning the research is the relationship between particular, unique, elements and moments embedded in the specificity of time and place and those that exist in reproducible, global form. The research and the making of work is informed by curatorial thinking, by the materiality, structure and logic of the distributed network, and by the concepts of Matrix and Metramorphosis as proposed by Bracha L Ettinger. The research seeks potential sites of non-commodified and 'fragile' organisational forms, processes and social relations.

Through the production of artworks and curatorial projects such as Love Potion (2005), Cultural Capital (2009), Electronic Village Galleries (2011),  48 Summers (2013), 64 Telepathic Moments (2014), it has been possible to identify and name a number of elements associated with distributed art, such as fragile protocols, enactment of everyday rituals, performative documentation, telepathic moments and lists of instability. I have organised several events around these concepts, including a series of three symposia in 2010 entitled Critical Debates in Digital Arts, which was funded by Arts Council England, and the 2007 Disrupting Narratives conference at Tate Modern that brought together some of the world's leading media theorists, artists and researchers to explore distributed forms in contemporary art. My research on ways of exhibiting distributed art was presented at the Research as Exhibition symposium at Tate Britain in 2010, and at the AHRC funded Creative Digital Media Research Practice: Production Through Exhibition symposium in 2010 at Newcastle University.

Current research involves tracing and archiving intimate moments as they emerge and fade with attention to the works' proximity to the intensification of processes of commodification in everyday life. The work exists on the borders between the web page, the book, the exhibition, the encounter, the event, the moment.

Research topics

Distributed Art
Distributed Curating
Distributed Networks
Matrix Theory
New Media Art
New Media Theory

Research outputs

Publications and research outputs



Southworth, Kate (2016) A Seduction In To Life. [Artwork] Item not available from this repository. 



Southworth, Kate (2016) 48 Summers. [Artwork] 



Southworth, Kate (2014) 64 Telepathic Moments. [Artwork] 



Southworth, Kate (2014) Thunder Arousing. [Artwork]



Southworth, Kate and Simons, Patrick (2009) Cultural Capital. [Artwork] 



Southworth, Kate (2007) love_potion. [Artwork] 




Mcleod, Neil and Southworth, Kate (2016) Painting and Painting. [Exhibition] 



Southworth, Kate and Mcleod, Neil (2016) Painting and Painting. [Exhibition] 



Southworth, Kate and Mcleod, Neil (2015) Cultural Capital Installation. [Exhibition]



Southworth, Kate and Mcleod, Neil and Thomas, Dominic (2015) Cultural Capital Installation. [Exhibition]


Website Content


Southworth, Kate (2013) Art and Curating as Distributed Form. [Website Content] 



Southworth, Kate (2011) Electronic Village Galleries (pilot). [Website Content] 



Southworth, Kate and Simons, Patrick (2009) Lists of Instability. [Website Content] 



Southworth, Kate and McPhee, Christina and Simons, Patrick (2004) fuorange. [Website Content] 



Southworth, Kate (2001) who_owns_them_controls. [Website Content] 




Archive of a moment: Distributed Artwork produced for In Absence of Archives exhibition at Falmouth University Penryn Campus, and online


64 Telepathic Moments: Distributed Artwork produced for Unsettled exhibition at Enys House, and online


Thunder, Arousing: Distributed Artwork produced for Embedded exhibition at Enys Gardens, as part of the Penryn Arts Festival 2014, and online.


Balm of Glasney: Distributed Artwork produced for The Penryn Arts Festival 2013, and online


The place of its taking place: the trace of a spell to aid journeying around an exhibition at Imbolg Distributed artwork produced for The Dark Rooms curated by Jesse Leroy Smith at the Passmore Edwards building, Helston, Cornwall. 2nd and 3rd February 2013, and online


Elecronic Village Galleries Art work exploring the distributed form in contemporary curating.


University College Falmouth, Digital Economy: Research in Practice Lecture Series (organised by Magda Tyzlik-Carver). Invited talk on Electronic Village Galleries


Dematerial: Critical Debates in Digital Arts. Organiser and Chair of three symposia (University College Falmouth; Arnolfini, Bristol; Bournemouth University


Tate Modern: Media Matters, Friedrich Kittler and Technoculture. Chair of the Film panel


University College Falmouth, Networks of Design: Design History Society Annual Conference. Co-curated exhibition: ‘(in)visible networks’ exhibition


Networks of Design: Design History Society Annual Conference. Panel Chair: Beyond the Limits of Networking

Externally funded research grants information

Year startingYear endingProject titleFunderValueCollaboratorsHESA Category
Electronic Village Galleries (Pilot Phase)
Arts Council England
Dematerial: Critical Debates in Digital Art
Arts Council England

Research students

Current research students

Ruth Gooding
How can the curator and artist effect change and maintain a position with politically motivated community practices (socially engaged, participatory, collaborative) within the parameters of the politics of rural space and the apparatus of the institution?


Areas of teaching

Contemporary Art
Curatorial Practice
Digital Art
Distributed Art
Expanded Practices
Fine Art
Interactive Art
New Media Art

Courses taught

Fine Art

Professional engagement