"It has been a long time coming, but I must say I enjoyed every opportunity the PhD offered me in terms of research, presentation and project delivery. I undertook my PhD part-time as I have a job and family. I was aware that it would be a long journey but I managed to weave the research study and practice into my everyday work as curator, director and publisher.
"The main challenges were about delivering in time and on budget a few physical manifestations of the research, such as books, exhibitions, symposia and other cultural formats. They are not different challenges from what I usually face in my work, so I was in a position to have sufficient methods and discipline to overcome them.
"About ten years ago I published Aesthetic Journalism: How to Inform without Informing, a book which was the fruit of another multi-year body of research on the cross-over between contemporary art and media journalism. In time, I have matured the idea that images are no longer about representation, but all about the potential of “performing” subjects. In short, the PhD investigation is an invitation to consider an image not for what it shows, but for what it does, and what we do when interacting with it. It’s a crucial shift in perspective, and one that allows us to understand fully the impact of visual language and visual vocabulary, online and offline, in our everyday lives.
"Doing my PhD at USW was good. I had a very supportive and present Director of Study, Professor Mark Durden, who acted as a "critical friend”, not sparing me full rewriting of thesis and always coming up with difficult questions. But I was very glad for that because it really helped me to pin down the core of the study.
"My employer MOSTYN and its Board and Team were also essential in that this environment, allowing me to work flexibly and cross-pollinate interest and research between the visual art organisation and the Academia. For the PhD I also collaborated with other organisations such as London King’s College Digital Humanities Department and the National Art Gallery of Kosovo, not to mention the many colleagues and friends that provided input and advise along the road.
"The PhD provided a focused time and space to research and delivery a set of cultural products (two exhibitions, one online visual platform, one symposium, two books) which are reference points for me and for a whole generation of artists and curators, so the results are already there. Next, it will lead to a third book, for which I am working on right now. And it has already put in motion a series of invitations for talks and symposia to which I'm really looking forward to. In the long term, I do see my academic scholarship being the basis for a number of cultural projects to come, and organisational collaboration to take place."