Michaela FrenchDr Michaela French is the Subject Specialist on the MA Animation course. Michaela is an artist, lecturer and researcher working with light and time-based media across a range of artistic and creative contexts. Light serves as subject, medium and experience in her artistic practice which is grounded in an ecological systems-based approach. Michaela creates light-based artworks for gallery exhibition and produces award-winning moving image experiences for fulldome 360° immersive media spaces and live performance. A portfolio of Michaela’s work is available at michaelafrench.com.

Michaela completed her PhD in Information Experience Design at the Royal College of Art, London in 2020. Her artistic research investigates the systemic interrelation between light, body and environment through practice-based and theoretical enquiry. Michaela uses attentive observation and subjective immersive experience as her primary methods of investigation. The ecological principles of reciprocal mutuality and co-perception are central to her practice-based enquiry which aims to inspire debate about the ecological imperatives which increasingly influence contemporary artistic and cultural practice.

Michaela has extensive experience lecturing in the field of animation and moving image design having worked with students on undergraduate and postgraduate programmes in the UK and Australia. Michaela is an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a member the Leeds Arts University Sustainability Research Group and co-founder and chair of the Fulldome Creative Network.

Screenings & Exhibitions

‘Climate Crimes’ (2018) collaboration with Dr Adrian Lahoud in COP26 Green Zone Programme [Exhibition: 360° fulldome video screening] Glasgow Science Centre. 6 - 10 November 2021.

‘Climate Crimes’ (2018) in Clark, J. (ed.), Immerse, Issue #33, ‘Let’s Not Forget the Climate Crisis’, May 2020, [Exhibition: immersive cinema screening], MIT Open Documentary Lab & Co-Creation Studio [online].

‘The Sleep Dome’ in 24 Hours in Uchronia with Helga Schmid [Exhibition: 360° fulldome video installation] Somerset House, London. 7 - 8 February 2020.

‘The Light of Home’ (2016) in Domo Lleno Experimental Fulldome Video Festival [Exhibition: 360° fulldome video screening] Bogota Planetarium, Colombia. 11 - 13 December 2019.

‘The Light of Home’ (2016) in Sónar 360° [Exhibition: 360° fulldome video screening] Sónar Music, Creativity and Technology Festival, Barcelona, Spain. 14 -17 June 2018.

‘Climate Crimes’ (2018) collaboration with Dr Adrian Lahoud in The Future Starts Here [Exhibition: 360° fulldome video instalation] Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK. 12 May - November 2018.

‘The Orbit Series’ in Balance-Unbalance 2017 [Exhibition] Ocean Studios Gallery, Plymouth Arts Centre, Plymouth, UK. 21 - 23 August 2017.

Artefacts

French, M. (2014 - ongoing) The Museum of Light [Constructed & Curated Museum Collection]

French, M. (2017) A Year of Light [Artists Book]

Research Projects & Presentations

French, M. In Here, Out There. International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam, DocLab Forum, Compagnietheater, Amsterdam, Netherlands. 21 November 2021.

French, M. Elastic Reality. [Performative lecture: Fulldome 360° video] DocLab Live: Elastic Presence, International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam, ARTIS Planetarium, Netherlands. 21 November 2021.

French, M. Fulldome Space as Artistic Medium. Surround Stories Lab Symposium & Workshop, Live Cinema UK with CultVR Lab and Centre for Immersive Technologies (CFiT) Leeds University. Supported by XR Stories Strategic R&D Grant. 24 January 2020.

French, M. If a Tree Falls in the Forest. [Exhibition: Art/Science collaboration] RCA School of Communication with Cosmoparticle Initiative, University College London. Supported by the Royal Society, the Institute of Physics and Forestry UK. London and Grizedale Forest, Cumbria, UK. 21 April - 4 November 2018.

Conferences, Symposia & Workshops

French, M. (2021) ‘The Ecological Observatory’, Expanding Communities of Sustainable Practice Symposium, Leeds Arts University [online].

French, M. (2021) ‘Climate Crimes: In Conversation’ [Public screening and discussion] Illuminate Festival, Market Hall, Real Ideas Organisation, Plymouth UK.

French, M. (2020) ‘Climate Crimes: Visualising Ecological Narratives in Fulldome Space’, Fulldome Production Techniques, International Planetarium Society Conference Virtual Conference [online].

French, M. (2019) ‘360° Fulldome as Artistic Medium’, DocLab: Interactive Conference, International Documentary Festival of Amsterdam, Compagnietheater, Amsterdam Netherlands.

French, M. (2017) ‘Light, Place and Presence’, Balance Unbalance Conference, i-DAT, Plymouth University, Plymouth UK.

French, M. (2017) ‘Taking the Long View – An ecological approach to artistic light observation’, International Day of Light Symposium and Exhibition, Chelsea College of Arts, London, UK.

Book Sections

French, M. (2019) ‘An Emerging Spherical Infinity’, in The New Infinity: Visual Art and Music in Planetariums, ed. by Thomas Oberender, Berliner Festspiele, Köln, Germany: Buchhandlung, Walther König.

French, M. (2017) ‘Bodies in Light: Mediating States of Presence’ in Digital Bodies: Creativity and Technology in the Arts and Humanities, Broadhurst, S & Price S. eds. London, UK: Palgrave Macmillan.

Conference Proceedings

French, M. ‘Using the layers of presence as a framework for artistic practice in fulldome space’, Dale Smith (ed), Proceedings of the 24th International Planetarium Society Conference, Cite De La Space, Toulouse, France, 3 - 6 July 2018.

French, M. Spanou, K. Howey, T., ‘Extending the Language of Fulldome Space’, Monika Malinowska and Kamil Deresz (eds), Revolve IPS Conference Warsaw 2016, Copernicus Science Centre, Warsaw, Poland. 19 - 23 June 2016.

Articles

French, M. (2018) ‘Cosmology and the Art of Falling Trees’ Plasma Art & Science Magazine Magazine, Agui, Judit (ed) [online].

Awards

Climate Crimes (2018), Winner: Best Short Film, 13th Fulldome Festival, Zeiss Planetarium, Jena, Germany. 25 May 2019.

The Light of Home (2016) Winner: Best Sonic Experience, Fulldome UK Festival, National Space Centre, Leicester UK. 5 Nov 2016.