To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video
Profile image of Professor Simon Morris

Professor Simon
Morris

Simon Morris’ research appears in the form of exhibitions, publications, installations, films, actions and texts which all revolve around the form of the book and often involve collaborations with people from the fields of art, creative technology, literature and psychoanalysis.

Simon Morris examines the relationship between reading and art. He proposes a new method of making art via conceptualist performed readings. This method grafts the aesthetic legacy of Conceptual Art on to various notions of writing (from literary composition to data management) in order to produce materially-specific poems as artworks that have in some way re-read a found object. This is an art of reading things differently. It starts from a premise proved by the impossibility of making purely conceptual art: that art is always aesthetical and conceptual. To that it couples an obsession with language as both material signifier and social activity. In doing so it establishes a mode of making art that asks: What could we write if reading could be a materially productive act of making art? How might a certain kind of reading-as-making problematise the understandings of authorship, production and reproduction ensconced in our cultural industries? Morris’ work celebrates reading differently as a praxis of exploring the elsewhere of what languages and their users can mean and do. Morris is committed to working collaboratively and against all-too-certain counter-productive divisions between contemporary art and contemporary literature.

In 2002, Morris founded the publishing imprint information as material. He is the author of numerous experimental books, including; Bibliomania (1998); The Royal Road to the Unconscious (2003); Re-Writing Freud (2005); Getting Inside Jack Kerouac’s Head (2010); and Pigeon Reader (2012). He is an occasional curator and a regular lecturer on contemporary art and also directed the documentary films sucking on words: Kenneth Goldsmith (2007) and making nothing happen: Pavel Büchler (2010). He has had solo shows at the Freud Museum in London and Printed Matter Inc., New York City. He regularly gives talks on his work and was recently invited to speak at; The Royal Academy in the Hague, Holland; Warsaw Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Poland; the Kelly Writer’s House at the University of Pennsylvania; USA, Cabinet Gallery in Brooklyn, New York City, USA, Harvard University, Boston, USA and the Literaturwerkstatt in Berlin, Germany.

“True watershed works, I suspect, are quite rare in the history of art. Duchamp’s Fountain is certainly one. Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon and John Cage’s 4'33" may be others. Each of these forced not only artists but ultimately the general public to rethink their notions of art. Each changed the nature and trajectory of art. Potential watershed works are those that stand at the outer boundary of our concepts of art and push further outward. This is where Getting Inside Jack Keroauc’s Head stands.” - Darren Hudson Hick, ‘Ontology and the Challenge of Literary Appropriation’ for the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 71:2 Spring 2013, The American Society for Aesthetics.

“Getting Inside Jack Keroauc’s Head is an exemplary instance of a conceptual work that operates by means of remediation and reclassification.” – Paul Stephens, ‘From the Personal to the Proprietary: Conceptual Writing’s Critique of Metadata’ for Digital Humanities Quarterly, Vol. 6, No. 2, 2012

“I can think of no more exemplary introduction to uncreative writing, or to the broader field of conceptual writing, than this book.” – Doug Nufer ‘On the Road Again’ in American Book Review, vol.32, no.4 (Victoria: University of Houston, May/June 2011) p.11

Simon teaches across the school of Architecture, Art and Design. He is the organizer of INSIDE/OUT, the School public lecture series which involves inviting and hosting the brightest minds of our generation to come and speak at Leeds Beckett University. One key responsibility is the coordination of Unit: 32 - Art and Design: History, Practice and Theory for the University submission for REF 2020.

Selected Publications

Journal articles (2)

Books (14)

  • Morris SDC (2017) Postscript: Writing After Conceptual Art (Book).. University of Toronto Press.
  • Morris SDC (2016) Reading As Art (Book).. 1000 York: Information As Material.
  • ed. (2016) READING AS ART.
  • Morris SDC; Brouws J; Burton W; Zschiegner H (2013) Various Small Books: Referencing Various Small Books by Ed Ruscha (The Royal Road to the Unconscious).. London: MIT Press.
  • Dworkin C; Morris S; Thurston N (2012) Do or Diy (Information as Material).. 2012 York: Information as Material.
  • Morris S (2012) Pigeon Reader (Information As Material).. 750 Middlesbrough: Information as Material.
  • Morris S (2010) Getting Inside Jack Kerouac's Head (Information as Material).. York: Information as Material.
  • Morris S (2008) Spinning: de-centering the self. Spinning II. York: information as material.
  • Morris S (2005) Re-writing Freud. Information As Material.
  • Morris S; Britton H (2003) The Royal Road to the Unconscious (Book).. 750 York: Information As Material.
  • Morris S (2002) Interpretation. I I. York: information as material.
  • Morris S (2002) Interpretation. II II. York: information as material.
  • Morris S (2000) Bibliomania. York: information as material.
  • Morris S; Helen Sacoor HC (1998) Bibliomania. York: information as material.

Chapters (1)

  • Morris SDC (2018) Learn to Read Differently (Book Chapter).. In: Book Presence in a Digital Age. 1385 Broadway, New York, NY 10018, USA: Bloomsbury Publishing Inc, pp. .

Conference contributions (15)

  • Morris SDC (2016) Forms of Criticism (Symposium) University of Westminster, Regent St. Campus, London. 30/06/2016.
  • Morris S (2014) Publishing as Performance Matt's Gallery 17/09/2014. London:
  • Morris S (2014) Algorithm in Amsterdam (University of Amsterdam). University of Amsterdam, Department of Musicology. 11/06/2014.
  • Morris S (2014) Publishing as Performance Symposium Prinsessegracht 4, 2514 AN The Hague The Netherlands 25/04/2014. The Netherlands:
  • Morris S (2014) Materiality of Literature Utrecht University and OSL 05/02/2014. Amsterdam:
  • Morris S (2014) Conceptual Poetics Day: Getting Inside Jack Kerouac's Head Berlin 07/12/2014. Literaturwerkstatt: missread.
  • Morris S (2014) Original Pirate Material Literaturwerkstatt 06/12/2014. Literaturwerkstatt, Berlin:
  • Morris S (2013) The Book Lover's Symposium The Book Lover's Symposium at Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, Poland, 25-27 October, 2013 on the invitation of David Marato and Joanne Zielinska. 25/10/2013. Warsaw Museum of Modern Art, Poland:
  • Morris S (2013) Arts Research Initiative (Research and Practice Forum, University of Cumbria). Research and Practice Forum, Faculty of Education, Arts and Business 23/10/2013. University of Cumbria:
  • Morris S (2013) The Writing Industry Birkbeck, University of London, Keynes Library 08/06/2013.
  • Morris S (2012) Book Presence in a Digital Age Department of Modern Languages 28/05/2012. Utrecht University, the Netherlands:
  • Morris S; Simon Z; Thurston N; Morris C; Dworkin C (2011) Summer School for Literary Perverts The Whitechapel Gallery 26/07/2011. Whitechapel Gallery:
  • Morris S (2009) The Voice and Nothing More Slade Research Centre 12/01/2009. University college London:
  • Morris S; Thurston N (2008) A Perverse Library York St John University 11/09/2008.
  • Morris S (2006) Freud in Translation, Freud in Transition. Institute of Germanic and Romance Studies 24/11/2006. University of London:

Exhibitions (23)

  • Morris S12/03/2015-07/05/2015
  • Morris S07/02/2015-17/05/2015
  • Morris S11/04/2015-18/04/2015
  • Morris S28/09/2015-03/12/2015
  • Morris S01/09/2010-01/10/2010
  • Morris S11/04/2008-16/05/2008
  • Morris S01/01/2005-01/01/2006
  • Morris S(In press)-(In press)
  • Morris S10/08/2013-21/09/2013
  • Morris S01/01/2012-01/01/2014
  • Morris S16/06/2011-29/09/2011
  • Morris S25/02/2011-07/05/2011
  • Morris S07/02/2015-17/05/2015
  • Morris S28/01/2011-13/06/2011
  • Morris S01/01/2012-01/01/2013
  • Morris S23/03/2013-26/05/2013
  • Morris SDC05/03/2013-09/09/2016
  • Morris SDC07/02/2015-17/05/2015
  • Morris SDC24/05/2016-03/07/2016
  • Morris SDC27/08/2016-19/11/2016
  • Morris SDC09/07/2016-12/11/2016
  • Morris SDC17/11/2017-05/03/2018
  • Morris SDC08/11/2017-28/01/2018

Films or broadcasts (2)

  • Making Nothing Happen: Pavel Büchler (Information As Material). (2010) Lavers R; Schneider N; Robin L; Dworkin C; Morris C. : Information as Material
  • sucking on words: Kenneth Goldsmith (2007) Lavers R; Morris C; Harmann-Hardeman. J; Fowler F; Biggiero F; Fitterman R; Cole B; Andrews B. : information as material, York

Other (3)

  • Morris S; Dworkin C; Thurston N (2012), Publishing Imprint: Information as Material (iam)
  • Morris S; Thurston N; Dworkin C (2011), Writer-in-Residence
  • Goldsmith K (2011), Against Expression: An Anthology of Conceptual Writing

Performances (4)

  • Morris S (In press), 'the audience are politely reminded the ears have no lids'
  • Morris S; Lavers R (In press), 'the voice and nothing more'
  • Morris S (In press), A Text that Destroys Itself in the Process of Its Own Reading, at the Gustav Metzger Congress
  • Morris S (In press), spinning: de-centering the self

Software / code (1)

  • Morris S (2011), Re-writing Freud (Information As Material).

Websites (2)

  • Morris S (2008), http://gettinginsidejackkerouacshead.blogspot.com/
  • Morris S; Dworkin C; Thurston N (2002), http://www.informationasmaterial.org/
Show/hide all publications

FURTHER OUTPUTS: