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How can artists and academics learn new approaches from each other regarding research into 'keywords' as a basis for their work?

This project emerged from a seminar series in the French Department in which the idea of the 'keyword' was explored. In early 2015 King's held a symposium where postgraduate researchers presented a definition of a keyword that was important to their research, simultaneously questioning the function and place of 'keywords' in their work.

This project explored innovative ways of archiving keyword entries, allowing a user to see connections between words and definitions. It built a web platform prototype to explore the potential for interesting forms of connections and links between entries. It also explored how it can connect with partners and audiences beyond the traditional academic sphere, in order to answer the following questions:

  • To what extent can the short, concise format of the keyword entry allow academics to engage with non-academic audiences?
  • How can academics and artists learn from each other about new approaches to the research of keywords?

On Saturday 17 October 2015 a first research workshop took place at King's with a choreographer, Raquel Claudino; a set-designer, Florence Hazard; a poet, Robin Boothroyd; and a composer, Igor Maia. Each artist generously shared their approaches to the research of words that orientate their work in some way. Academics then explored words that the artists were working on and shared their ideas. Using footage collected during the day, a short film has been created that highlights the collaboration process and the striking differences and similarities in the approaches of artists and academics. The web platform connects other academics with the project and with the possibilities for learning from artistic practice and research.

A video of the project is available below:

Project team

Postgraduate researchers from the French Department at King's

Alice Hazard, Thomas Gould, Igor Reyner, Joel White, Jacob Bittner


Igor Maia – Igor Maia is a Brazilian composer based in London. His compositions draws both on 21st century avant-garde techniques and Brazilian traditional music, creating music that relates to the Latin American culture but is expressed within European Classical music formats. He has received degrees from the Royal Conservatoire of The Hague (The Netherlands) in 2010 and the State University of Campinas (Brazil) in 2013. He also participated in many Festivals and Courses with teachers such as Brian Ferneyhough, Martin Matalon, Jukka Tiensu, Toshio Hosokawa, Francesco Filidei, Marcel Reuter, among others. Currently he is a PhD Student at King’s College London under the supervision of Profs. Silvina Milstein and George Benjamin, funded by the CAPES Foundation of the Brazilian Ministry of Education

Robin Boothroyd – Poet Robin Boothroyd was born in Germany and grew up in England. He lives in London. His poems have been published online at The Bohemyth, DOG-EAR and M58, and in print with Magma. In 2013 he won the COMPAS Poetry Competition. Meanwhile, a pamphlet of concrete poems about simultaneity, will be published by Sine Wave Peak in 2016. Robin's website is and you can follow him on Twitter @rfboothroyd.  

Florence Hazard – Set designer Florence Hazard trained at Rose Bruford College where she obtained a first class degree in Theatre Design in 2012. Since graduating she has worked extensively across theatre, opera, events and advertising as a designer, assistant designer and model maker. She has designed for companies including Io Theatre Company, Epsilon Productions, Frinton Summer Theatre, RIFT, Theatre Melange, Theatre 503 and Immediate Theatre as well as assisting designers such as Gary McCann, Es Devlin, Tim Shortall and Tom Pye. As a designer she likes to explore abstract and atmospheric compositions that become an interwoven part of the story telling creating a rich and cohesive environment.

Raquel Claudino – Raquel Claudino is a choreographer, filmmaker and researcher, working primarily with moving image and new technologies. She takes inspiration from history, philosophy, quantum physics and neuroscience, translating her beliefs into a visual narrative that inspires audiences to connect to their sense of being alive. In her latest film, Sing The Sand Into Pearls, she evokes a sense of awakening through the journey of the characters. This film has been showcased in 4 continents and has so far won 5 awards including Best Experimental, Art Lab, Best of Fest, Audience Award, and Best in Show.

Mike Irvine – Mathematician and computer programmer Mike Irvine is currently helping us to design and set up a website for the keywords project. 

The Keywords Project is a collaboration between the Department of French at King's College London and the artists listed above. It was supported by the university's Culture team.

This project is part of the King's Early Career Researchers scheme. Joel White has been mentored by Richard Mason, the Knowledge Exchange Associate for the Global Institutes.



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