Mick Wilson

Director of Studies

HDK-Valand - Academy of Art and
Visiting address
Kristinelundsgatan 6-8
Postal address
Box 131
40530 Göteborg


The Crafts and Fine Art
Visiting address
Kristinelundsgatan 6-8
41137 Göteborg
Postal address
Box 131
40530 Göteborg

About Mick Wilson

Mick Wilson is an artist, educator and researcher based in Gothenburg and Dublin. He is currently Professor of A, Director of Doctoral Studies, at HDK-Valand, University of Gothenburg.


Trained as both an artist and historian of art and design–with graduate degrees in art & design history; information technology and education; and visual culture–he is a research professor at University of Gothenburg, appointed on both academic and artistic grounds (according to the Swedish University protocol.) Having three decades of experience in higher arts education, research, development and leadership, he has worked in a wide variety of roles and institutions, including as: former Director of Valand Academy, Gothenburg (2012-2018); Fellow at BAK, basis voor aktuele kunst, Utrecht, the Netherlands (2018/2019); Editor-in-chief PARSE Journal for Artistic Research (2015-2017); Dean of the Graduate School of Creative Arts & Media, Ireland (2007-2012); Chair of the SHARE network of 40 higher arts education institutions across 30-plus countries (2010-2014); and Head of Research, National College of Art & Design, Ireland (2005-2007).

Current research

Current research addresses aspects of the political imaginary, with particular focus on the question of how the imaginary may be constructed as an operational space for practice-based enquiries. Sub-areas of importance are constructions of 'public-ness' and the 'social' within the contemporary art field; ideas of the curatorial and the exhibition as a research site; and the rhetorical dynamics of knowledge conflict and violence. A long standing concern is with then positioning of the dead within different imaginaries and specifically the various forms of political community with the dead posited across these.

Current and recently concluded projects include:

Current courses based on this work include:

Co-edited volumes include:

Current doctoral supervisions include:

  • 'Towards Peasant Relationalities of Cultivation' Åsa Sonjasdotter (2018-2024)
  • 'Pan-African feminist ecological creative imaginaries' Nkule Mabaso (2021-2025)
  • 'Provisional Rehearsals' Thiago de Paula Souza (2021-2025)
  • 'Ultimology, or the study of endings, as a point of entry for imaginative discourse' Fiona Hallinan external co-supervisor with Prof. Nancy Vansieleghem, LUCA School of Arts KU Leuven (2019-)
  • 'Filmmaker in the archival multiverse: practices,politics and poetics of the archive(s)' Marc Johnson, external co-supervisor with Prof. Sher Doruff, Film and Media Department, Stockholm University of the Arts.(2021-)
  • 'Based on a true story: In between the fictive and the documentary' Jörgen Dahlqvist, external co-supervisor with Prof. Esa Kirkkopelto, Teaterhögskolan, Lund University (2021-)
  • 'Self-initiated institutions: The case of artists-run educational platforms' Ginevre Ludovici, external co-supervisor, Scuola IMT Alti Studi Lucca (2022-)
  • 'Curatorial Practices in Latvia: Approaches and Debates' Antra Priede, external co-supervisor, Latvian Art Academy (2022-)

Recent and current workshops and conferences:

as part of research on body-counts:

  • 'Political Community with the Dead' as part of So Close: Ecologies of Life and Death conference, Cankarjev dom, Ljubljana
  • the co-realisation of 'State Violence as Practice' strand within the PARSE 4th Biennial Conference, Violence together with Dr. Jane Tynan of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (17-19 Nov 2021); and co-editing forthcoming PARSE Journal issue (October 2022)
  • 'Denial: They tell me often, that "we" deny death' as part of Bratislava BAK Summer Spring School, Art During Death (2021)
  • 'Body Counts: Scenes from the Political Life of the Dead' part of Statecraft, the 2020 IMMA Summer School (2020)

as part of research on the question of exhibition and curatorial practices:

  • 'In Different Places: Imagining the Biennial Form' symposium on the future biennale frameworks of three distinct traditions': Havanna, Istnanbul and Gothenburg. Co-organised by European Artist Research Network (EARN), Gothenberg International Biennial for Contemporary Art (GIBCA), HKU Utrecht, and HDK-Valand research education. Speakers include: Margarita Gonzalez Lorente, Ioana Leca, Bige Örer, and Henk Slager. (8 Jun 2022)
  • 'O My Friends, There Is No Friend' three week intensive with guest researchers and speakers including: Simon Critchley, Celine Condorelli, Yuk Hui, Walter Mignolo, Jota Mombaca, Sara Pierce, Elizabeth Povinelli, Helena Reckitt, Sybil Schwarzenbach, Shuddha Sengupta, and Claire Tancons co-convened with Prof. Steven Henry Madoff of SVA New York (28 Jun -16 July 2021)
  • 'The Political Condition of the Young Cultural Proletariat' with colleagues from Iasi and Gothenburg, and guest researchers and speakers including: Raluca Voinea (Bucharest), Rena Rädle & Vladan Jeremić (Belgrade), Vladimir Us (Kishinev), and Vasyl Cherepanyn (Kyiv) together with Prof. Cătălin Gheorghe, Vector Studio,”George Enescu” National University of the Arts in Iasi. (22-24 Jun 2021)
  • 'handfuls thrown into air and scattered over earth' curatorial workshop as part of Farewell to Research: Bucharest Biennale 9 (2020)

as part of ongoing work in respect of the expanded terms of contemporary art practices: