Research Associate

Scott Barley is an artist-filmmaker based in Scotland. He has worked at Falmouth University as an Associate Lecturer in Film and Television since 2020, and as a Research Associate at the Sound/Image Cinema Lab since 2024. His work has been associated with the Remodernist and Slow cinema movements, eco-criticism, landscape film, and avant-garde filmmaking. He has exhibited at film festivals and art galleries worldwide, including ICA London, Jeu de Paume Paris, Doclisboa, Karlovy Vary IFF, Venice Biennale, QAGOMA, MoMA Río de Janeiro, and MoCA Busan. 

Since 2015, Scott has made films solo, switching from ARRI cameras and larger crews to almost exclusively shooting his films on iPhone, and carrying out all aspects of production (direction, writing, cinematography, sound, post-production, and distribution) himself, with a strong focus on poetics and environmental sustainability. Much of Scott's filmography engages with the anthropocene through a conspicuous absence: there is no human presence. Instead, attention is redirected to landscape. Animals, plants, fungi, and weather become the protagonists, with a focus on the delicate balance that sustains life on the planet, allowing the audience to bear witness to nature’s sublimity, vulnerability, and resilience. His films invite viewers to contemplate their own place within the natural world, and to consider humankind's impact on a broader ecological scale—in a manner that is neither dogmatic or didactic, but rather, experiential, meditative and sensory. His films have been been the subject of critical analysis, with essays in Sight and Sound, MUBI Notebook, Screen, and Sabzian, as well as conferences and theses at the University of Melbourne, Goldsmiths, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle Paris, and University of Porto.

Scott's first feature, 'Sleep Has Her House' was released in 2017. It received the Jury Award for Best Film at Fronteira International Documentary & Experimental Film Festival, Brazil. In 2020, film historian, and Jean-Luc Godard's editor for 'The Image Book' (Cannes' Special Palme d'Or Winner) Nicole Brenez cited 'Sleep Has Her House' as one of the ten best films of the decade, after previously writing that “[Scott Barley’s] films renew our conception of visuality”, and describing him as “one of the most gifted visual poets of his generation.” In 2022, 'Sleep Has Her House' was included in the decennial Sight and Sound poll of The Greatest Films of All Time, receiving votes as one of the ten greatest films ever made in both the Critics’ and Directors' polls. Scott's second feature film, 'The Sea Behind Her Head' is currently in production. The film is funded by the British Film Institute (BFI) and Doc Society.

Outside of his own practice and working at Falmouth, Scott has taught film and visual arts at institutions in the UK and abroad from foundation to doctorate levels, including at Winchester School of Art, Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design, University of Chile, and Centre for Visual Communications Belgrade. He is an external mentor for Film London's FLAMIN Fellowship programme and L’Alternativa Professionals Barcelona, advising on all stages of film production. In his teaching, Scott aims to inspire and cultivate each and every individual's passions and interests, engendering an environment where creativity and curiosity is encouraged, where horizons are broadened through receptive research and practice, and students are supported and emboldened in finding their own creative voice.

External Links


Contact details



Year Qualification Awarding body
2017 MA Experimental Film and Artists’ Moving Image Kingston University London
2015 BA (Hons) Film & Video Newport Film School, University of Wales
2012 FDA Fine Art Cardiff Metropolitan University

Honors and awards

Year Description

Sight and Sound: Greatest Films of All Time, Decennial World Poll — 'Sleep Has Her House'


BFI Doc Society Production Fund


Sight and Sound: Best Essay Films of 2018 Poll (nominated)


Sight and Sound: Best Films of 2018 Poll (nominated)


Sight and Sound: Best Films of 2017 Poll (nominated)


Jury Award for Best Film, Fronteira International Documentary & Experimental Film Festival, Brazil


Sight and Sound: Best Films of 2016 Poll (nominated)


FDA National Exhibition Award, University of Wales Institute, Cardiff


Norman Rawlings Award for Excellence in Art, Caldicot Faculty of Arts, South Wales

Research Interests

Research interests and expertise

  • Sensory ethnography and sensory zoology 
  • Ecology and environmental sustainability 
  • Art as meditation and transformation
  • Anthropocene
  • Visible absence
  • Animality
  • Animism
  • Phenomenology and qualia 
  • Darkness
  • Cosmology 
  • The Sublime
  • Beauty-Horror liminal boundary
  • Noumena
  • Mereology 
  • Hauntology
  • Transgressive art 
  • Minimalism
  • Digital & post-digital ecologies
  • Polysemic experience in spectatorship 
  • iPhone filmmaking
  • Corporeality and incorporeality 
  • Tactility and texture in 'flat' mediums
  • Haptics
  • Poetics
  • Contemplative / Slow cinema
  • Experimental Film
  • Auteur cinema
  • Non-Western cinema
  • Noise & atonality
  • Romanticism
  • Neo-expressionism

Areas of teaching

  • Film Theory and History 
  • Film Practice
  • Cinematography 
  • Experimental Film
  • Camera-less Film
  • Machinima Film
  • Art film
  • Auteur cinema
  • Non-Western cinemas
  • Poetic film
  • Haptics
  • Creativity as practice
  • Digital and Post-digital cinema

Professional Engagement

Engagement with professional associations and societies

Co-founder of 'Obscuritads': An international collective aiming to “render the invisible visible” through cinema, fine art, digital technologies and their intersection. Co-founded with filmmaker, Mikel Guillen (Toronto) and curator and programmer, Miquel Escudero Diéguez (Paris / Barcelona). Honorary filmmaker: Phil Solomon (1954–2019).