Isabella Streffen completed her PhD in 2013. I Spy With My Military Eye was funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, and exposed similarities between military doctrine and the development of artwork to demonstrate the efficacy of using fine art practice as a method for critiquing militarism. Key questions relate to the identification of a specifically military vision, the development of ‘visioning technologies’, and their impact on subjectivity and objectivity.

Isabella developed her pseudo-ethnographic field-craft methodology to produce Dead Reckoning (2009), a geo-caching game devised on site in Northumberland and Cumbria with military snipers; The Model (2009-11), exhibited at Alderman Fenwick’s House in 2012; Illuminating Hadrian’s Wall (2010), which lit the 84-mile long Scheduled Ancient Monument from end-to-end as part of an artist residency at the UNESCO World Heritage Site at Hadrian’s Wall; and Hawk & Dove (2012), originally devised during a research fellowship at the Library of Congress and initially exhibited as an architectural installation as part of Washington DC’s inaugural public art festival 5x5.

image
from Hawk & Dove (2012)

image
from Hawk & Dove (2012)

image
from Illuminating Hadrian’s Wall (2010)

Other recent exhibitions and events in 2012/13 include convening Surreptitious Networks at the Tyneside Cinema; curating Drones Baby Drones (touring); and Magnificent Distance at Globe Gallery. Her article The Underlying Horror of the English Countryside appears in Dandelion Journal vol 5, and she has written for Dean Clough Galleries, Situations and AN.

Isabella is currently an Early Career Research Fellow at Oxford Brookes University, where she continues her research into drones, aerial culture, intelligence practices and contested spaces. She is also a post--‐doctoral research associate in English & American Studies at the University of Manchester, where she is co-curating Show Me The Money: images of finance 1700 to the present with Alistair Robinson for the Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art (forthcoming May 2014). She was previously a post-doctoral researcher at CRUMB.

In early 2014, Isabella will be presenting a paper on the reimagining of the relationship between art, interpretation, exhibition and theory as co-editor of collaborative digital project AndOr at the CAA in Chicago.