Staff Profile


Dr Andy Birtwistle

Reader in Film and Sound

School: School of Creative Arts & Industries

Campus: Canterbury Main Campus

Tel: 01227 923817

Profile summary

I have a BA in Radio, Film and Television Studies, an MA in Arts Criticism from City University, London, and a PhD in Art History from Goldsmiths, University of London.

I am a Film Studies specialist, focusing on avant-garde and art cinema, with a particular interest in film sound and sonic arts. My research and teaching interests also include East Asian Cinema and Cinema in the Digital Age, both of which I have developed and delivered as undergraduate modules. My strategy as a researcher, and a teacher, has been to embrace both theoretical and practical approaches to my subject, and this is reflected in the range of my research outputs, which include publications and creative practice in video and sound. My current research projects are located primarily within the field of Media Archaeology, in which have been producing publications, creative work with analogue technologies, and live performances, to explore issues of materiality within media art practice. 

In 2013 I set up the University's Centre for Practice Based Research in the Arts, serving as Director until 2017.

Examples of my publications, and creative production work in sound and video, can be found on my website

Research and knowledge exchange

PhD Supervision

  • Mathew Sillett - Folklore and New Media Communications: An exploration of Journey to the West, its modern orality and traditional storytelling in contemporary online spaces.
  • Jacopo Castaldi - Political and cultural hegemony in documentaries: a Critical Analysis of geopolitical issues in travel and cultural documentaries broadcast on British television.

Teaching and subject expertise

I  teach:

  • Film Sound and Music
  • East Asian Cinema
  • Sound Studies
  • Art Film and Video
  • Digital Aesthetics

External activities

Selected conference papers

'Towards a Politics of Listening: Weekend (1930) wknd 58 (1998)', Sensibility & the Senses - The European Network for Cinema and Media Studies 2017 Conference, Universite Sorbonne Nouvelle, Paris (June 2017)

'Dead Technologies and the Politics of Temporality' [keynote], What are the Politics of Material Agentiality?, University of Applied Arts Vienna (April 2016)

'Electroacoustic Composition and the British Documentary Tradition', Sound and the Screen, University of West London (November 2015)

'Radical Conformity: Len Lye and the theorisation of film practice', Beyond the Frame - 27th Annual Conference of the Society for Animation Studies, Canterbury Chirst Church University (July 2015)

'White Noise: the representation of modernity in the films of Pai Ching-jui' [keynote], 3rd International Young Scholars Conference on Chinese Literature and Arts, National Chung Hsing University, Taiwan (May 2010)

'Disorganising organised sound: the silent modernity of Walther Ruttman's 'Weekend'', Reinventing the Dial: explorations in experimental radio practice, Canterbury Christ Church University (Oct 2009)

Selected Lectures, workshops and performances

Adam Chodzko in conversation with Andy Birtwistle. Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury (October 2015)

Performance of Dada sound poems by Hugo Ball at ‘A Glaring Mistake’: Stella Polare - An Alternative Armistice Evening. The Horse Hospital, London (November 2014)

Adventures in Synchronisation presents Public Information Night. Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury (February 2014)

Dada 3. The King's School, Canterbury (January 2014)

'The Art of Criticism': performance-lecture given at Lecture Night with Artlet. Free Range, Vegbox Cafe, Canterbury (October 2013)

Public Information Night. Free Range, Vegbox Cafe, Canterbury (April 2013)

Dada 2. Free Range, Vegbox Cafe, Canterbury (March 2013)

'The Art of Criticism': presentation/performance given at Visual Thinking: Between Sound and Light, Camden Arts Centre, London (February 2013)

Suki Chan in conversation with Andy Birtwistle. Sidney Cooper Gallery, Canterbury (October 2012)

Dada Cinema and Visual Music Night. Free Range, Vegbox Cafe, Canterbury (March 2012)

'Natural Noise: environmental sounds in the work of Tsai Ming-liang and Michelangelo Antonioni': lecture given at Department of Foreign Languages and Literature, Tunghai University, Taiwan (May 2010)

Publications and research outputs

'Start Here: Sounding the Materiality of the Compact Audio Cassette', Resonance: The Journal of Sound and Culture, 2.2 (2021)

'Jack Ellitt as Director: Documentary Films of the 1940s', Journal of British Cinema and Television, 18.3 (2021)

'Material Resistance: Towards a Politics of Listening', Echo, 1 (2020)

with Chiu Kuei-fen: 'Le Moulin: Audiovisual Non-Synchronization and the Making of a Historical Documentary', in Paul G. Pickowicz and Yingjin Zhang (eds.) Locating Taiwan Cinema in the Twenty-First Century (Amherst, NY: Cambria Press, 2020)

with Gebhard Sengmüller: 'Big Paul: The Death of Video and the Return of the Repressed', in Edgar Lissel, Gabriele Jutz and Nina Jukić (eds.) Reset the Apparatus! A Survey of the Photographic and the Filmic in Contemporary Art (Berlin and Boston: de Gruyter, 2019)

'Meaning and Musicality:Sound-Image Relations in the Films of John Smith', in Holly Rogers and Jeremy Barham (eds.), The Music and Sound of Experimental Film (New York: Oxford University Press, 2017)

'Noise, Agency, and the Sound of Obsolete Technology', FKW // Zeitschrift für Geschlechterforschung und visuelle Kultur,  61 Dated Formats Now! (2017)

‘Electroacoustic Composition and the British Documentary Tradition’, in Liz Greene & Danijela Kulezic-Wilson (eds.), Palgrave Handbook of Sound Design and Music in Screen Media: Integrated Soundtracks (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan,  2016).

'Photographic Sound Art and the Silent Modernity of Walter Ruttman's Weekend (1930)', The New Soundtrack, 6.2 (2016)

‘Heavy Weather: Michelangelo Antonioni, Tsai Ming-liang, and The Poetics of Environmental Sound’, Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Volume 32 Issue 1 (2015)
‘Douglas Gordon and Cinematic Audiovisuality in the Age of Television: Experiencing the Experience of Cinema’, Visual Culture in Britain, 13.1 (2012)

‘White Noise: the representation of modernity in the films of Pai Ching-jui’, in: Bi-yu Chang and Henning Klöter (eds.), Imaging and Imagining Taiwan: Identity Representation and Cultural Politics, Studia Formosiana vol.8 (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2012)


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Last edited: 09/09/2019 10:29:00