ANTHONY DOWNEY BIOGRAPHY AND CURRENT RESEARCHAnthony Downey is an academic, author, and editor. Developing collaborative partnerships with artists, theorists and other cultural practitioners and institutions, Downey’s interdisciplinary research contributes to and supports a critical understanding of postcolonial art practices, specifically those from the Middle East and Global South. To date, he has focused on how visual strategies re-think colonial histories, the politics of knowledge production, decolonizing methodologies, epistemological violence, online archives, and the discriminatory role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in models of post-digital image production. Downey is Professor of Visual Culture in the Middle East and North Africa (Birmingham City University). In his role as Associate Director for External Research Funding, he oversees the development and submission of AHRC funding applications and REF research outputs for early career and senior career researchers. Downey also co-convenes the Art Activisms (AA) research cluster at Birmingham Institute of Creative Arts (BICA), where he develops collaborative partnerships across Birmingham and internationally. In his capacity as Birmingham City University-lead, he is the Cultural and Commissioning Lead on a four-year multi-disciplinary AHRC Network Plus award (2020-2024), where his research focuses on supporting collaborative cultural practices, decolonizing knowledge systems, and the expansion of educational provision for people with disabilities in Lebanon, the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and Jordan. The latter award was preceded by an AHRC Development Award (2019-2021).
Downey sits on the editorial boards of three Peer-Reviewed, Open Access journals, including Third Text (Routledge), Journal of Digital War (Palgrave Macmillan), and the Journal of Memory, Mind & Media (Cambridge University Press). He is the series editor for Research/Practice (Sternberg Press/MIT Press, 2019–ongoing), which includes volumes produced in collaboration with Michael Rakowitz, Heba Y. Amin, Larissa Sansour and, forthcoming in 2023 and 2024 respectively, Trevor Paglen and Rabih Mroué. Anthony also sits on the International Series Advisory Board for New Directions in Contemporary Art (2020-ongoing).
Recent and upcoming publications include Decolonising Vision: Algorithmic Anxieties and the Post-Digital Image (forthcoming, MIT Press, 2024); Nida Sinnokrot: Palestine is Not a Garden (Sternberg Press/MIT Press, 2024); Trevor Paglen: Adversarially Evolved Hallucinations (Sternberg Press/MIT Press, 2024); Khalil Rabah: Falling Forward—Works 1995- 2025 (Sharjah Art Foundation and Hatje Cantz, 2023); Shona Illingworth: Topologies of Air (Sternberg Press/Power Plant, 2022); Heba Y. Amin: The General’s Stork (Sternberg Press, 2020); Larissa Sansour: Heirloom (Sternberg Press, 2020), Michael Rakowitz: I’m good at love, I’m good at hate, it’s in between I freeze (Sternberg Press, 2019); Critique in Practice (Sternberg Press, 2019); Future Imperfect: Contemporary Art Practices and Cultural Institutions in the Middle East (Sternberg Press, 2016); and Dissonant Archives: Contemporary Visual Culture and Contested Narratives in the Middle East (I.B. Tauris, 2015).
From 2011-2018, Downey was the Editor-in-Chief of Ibraaz (currently under redevelopment), an online research journal that commissioned and supported research and collaborative practices from the Middle East and Global South. In 2020, he curated Heba Y. Amin: When I See the Future (Mosaic Rooms, London) and, in 2022, Heba Y. Amin: When I See the Future, Chapter II (Zilberman Gallery, Berlin). In 2025, we will curate Heba Y. Amin: When I See the Future, Chapter III, the final part of this interdisciplinary research project, in Istanbul. In 2025, Downey and Amin will co-author When I see the Future, I Close my Eyes: Digital Methodologies and the Techno-Politics of Programmed Vision (forthcoming, Sternberg Press/MIT Press).
For full listings of teaching, research awards and other activities see here: https://www.bcu.ac.uk/art/about-us/our-expertise/our-staff/anthony-downey https://gtr.ukri.org/person/C37D7896-5CDE-43DD-ABAB-05C291BC757E
Full list of extended professional affiliations:
- Editor, Third Text (Routledge), appointed 2012.
- Editor, Journal of Digital War (Palgrave Macmillan), appointed 2020.
- Editor, Journal of Memory, Mind & Media (Cambridge University Press), appointed 2021.
- Series Editor, Research/Practice (Sternberg Press/MIT Press), 2019-ongoing.
- Editor-in-Chief of Ibraaz (ibraaz.org), 2011-2018—currently undergoing redevelopment
- Cultural and Commissioning Lead, GCRF Network Plus Award (2020-2024).
- Co-Investigator, AHRC Development Award (2019-2020).
- Advisory Board, Kamel Lazaar Foundation, Tunisia (appointed 2011-ongoing).
- International Series Advisory Board New Directions in Contemporary Art (2020-ongoing)
- Advisory Board, Manchester University, Understanding Displacement Aesthetics and Making Change in the Art Gallery with Refugees, Migrants and Host Communities (2020-ongoing).
- Series Editor, Visual Culture in the Middle East (Sternberg Press), 2016-present.
- Consultant Editor, Open Arts Journal at the Open University (openartsjournal.org), appointed 2012.
- Trustee, Strange Cargo (an Arts Council funded organization focusing on community-based arts project, strangecargo.org.uk), appointed 2014.
- Trustee, Arts Cabinet (an organization that develops international art and culture programmes in the Middle East and beyond, artscabinet.org), appointed 2015.