Jane BIrkin is a Research Fellow attached to the Data Image Lab at Winchester School of Art, working as researcher and designer. The Lab takes an exploratory approach to data gathering, data processing and data visualisation, with the aim to better understand structures of information and to discover and disseminate new insights.
Jane Birkin is an artist, designer and scholar. She is a Research Fellow at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton, where in May 2015 she completed a practice-based PhD entitled, ‘Units of Description: Writing and Reading the “Archived” Photograph’. She also works on exhibitions in Archives and Manuscripts at the University of Southampton Library, as exhibition designer as well as in a curatorial role. Taking the archive as the primary locus of her own practice, she is specifically concerned with institutional description techniques that define and manage the photographic image. She employs the dry, restricted language of archival description as a radical platform for exploring image temporalities and non-linear temporal progressions within image sets. Birkin’s practice functions at the intersection of text and image, combining media culture and techniques of the archive, as well as contemporary discourse on art, photography and conceptual writing. Through text-only works, still and moving image installations and lecture-performance, she unfolds the term ‘archive’, not as a discussion of nostalgia and decay, but by approaching images through information management, through the ‘grey literature’ of descriptions and lists. She has exhibited and performed nationally and internationally and her academic monograph Archive, Photography and the Language of Administration waspublished by Amsterdam University Press in 2021.