Mel Jordan

Dr, Professor

  • Gosford St, Frederick Lanchester Building

    CV1 5DD Coventry

    United Kingdom

Calculated based on number of publications stored in Pure and citations from Scopus

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research Interests

My academic career has spanned 25 years of working within Higher Education. I am currently Professor of Art and the Public Sphere at the Centre for Postdigital Culture, Coventry University. Previously I established and run the Contemporary Art Practice Programme at the Royal College of Art from 2014- 2020. 

From 2004 – 2018 I worked with Dave Beech and Andy Hewitt as the Freee art collective. In 2018, I initiated the Partisan Social Club; an on-going and continually reforming art and design collective with its first presentation at Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, London, November 2018. My research concerns are with the practice, histories and theories of art and design and its potential to impact upon publics and communities, through its role as a type of opinion formation in the public domain. I work in the urban context of the city and broadly address cultural practices with communities in the role of city-making, utilising the theory of the public sphere as opposed to conventional theories of space originally applied to public art and cultural production. As a result, I have contributed to new understandings and articulations of public art’s impact upon community cohesion. I have been working on the concept of Social Montage which I describe as the montaging of bodies, texts and actions onto and into public space (Augmented Reality) to create new social arrangements and extend political engagement (Social Montage: Speak-Act-Print-Publish, at Edinburgh Printmakers).


I am the founding editor of the journal Art & the Public Sphere, Intellect Ltd., ISSN 2042-793X




Academic Position

2020 – present; Professor of Art & the Public Sphere, Centre for Postdigital Culture, Coventry University

2017– 2020; Head of Programme Contemporary Art Practice, Reader in Art & the Public Sphere, Royal College of Art, Budget holder, line management 8 staff members, overseeing of Contemporary Art Practice Programme

2017 - 2018 Head of Programme Contemporary Art Practice & Sculpture, Reader in Art & the Public Sphere, Royal College of Art, Budget holder for two programmes , line management 16 staff members, overseeing of Contemporary Art Practice & Sculpture

2013 – 2016: (0.6) Senior Tutor in Sculpture, Reader in Art & the Public Sphere, Royal College of Art.

2007 – 2013: Senior Lecturer Loughborough University, Reader in Art & the Public Sphere, Research Co-ordinator/ Lead REF submission for Art & Design, Taught BA Fine Art, Dissertations, PhD supervisor for 8 Students.

2000- 2007: (0.5) Senior Lecturer in Fine Art, University of Wolverhampton, taught BA Fine Art as Social Practice, Painting & Sculpture.

2005 – 2007: (0.2) Lecturer in Art, Goldsmiths College of Art, Tutorials and teaching BA Art.

Visiting tutor at numerous art schools including Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, Malmo Academy of Art, Malmo, University of the Arts, Middlesex, Chelsea College of Art, Goldsmiths College of Art (BA & PhD), Academy of Arts Helsinki and Glasgow School of Art. I recently delivered a lecture How to carry on: ways of doing and enduring in the practice of the Freee Art Collective and the Partisan Social Club, 18 Feb 2020,Chelsea School of Art, University of the Arts, London


External Roles

2002 Panel member - Online conference for Artistic and Architectural research NTNU Department of Architecture and Planning 27th March & 10-12th June 2020, Trondheim

2020 member of international external panel review - only UK member (Quality Assurance review) Malmo Academy of Art, Lund University, Sweden

2019 Visiting Professor Helsinki Academy of Art

2019 Expert Reviewer Wolfson Foundation, London

2019 Visual Arts Panel Expert London Arts & Humanities Partnership (LAHP) AHRC-funded doctoral training partnership supporting PhD studies in the arts and humanities.

2018 Peer Reviewer ‘Contemporary Photography’, (Routledge).

2017 Editorial Board ‘Contextualizing Art Markets’ book series (Bloomsbury).

2017 Judge, the Woman’s Prize at the Royal Academy Summer Show

2016 Editorial Board 'Transforming Capitalism', book series, (Rowman & Littlefield International)

2015 Visiting Professor at Malmö Art Academy, Sweden

2014 Visiting Professor at Stockholm Academy of Arts, Sweden

2014/ ongoing Peer Review College, Arts and Humanities Research Council.

PhD Completions

‘Exodus: Towards a Non-Identity Art’ (practice-led)

Rory Haron, 2011 Glasgow School of Art - external supervisor

‘Institutional Critique: A Philosophical Investigation of Its Conditions and Possibilities’ (thesis)

Vlad Victor Morariu, 2013 Loughborough University

‘Politicizing 'independent' curatorial practice under neoliberalism: critical responses to the apparatus of project-making’ (practice-led)

Kuba Szreder, 2015, Loughborough University

‘Tactics of Interruption:  An Exploration of Participation and Power Relations in Art Performance’(practice-led)

Lee Campbell, 2015, Loughborough University

‘A Case for Art as a Socially Engaged, Politicising Force, Utilising the Work of Alfredo Jaar’(thesis)

Janet Betts/ Kilcoyne, 2017, Royal College of Art

Ways of being beyond the perpetuating inequality of the technosphere: Textual artistic intervention as a vital strategy in enabling resistant agency


Adam Walker, 2021, Royal College of Art

‘Active Co-existence’ Through Social Engagement in Contested Public Spaces in the South Walled City of Nicosia, Cyprus

Marina Hadjilouca, 2021, Royal College of Art

‘At the intersection of artistic practice and the city. Appearing in Public: The affordances of hopeless spaces’

Carol Mancke, 2021, Royal College of Art

External Funding Achieved

SPACEX: The value for society of social and participatory art and design and architecture projects in urban space

PI Jordan (RCA) with Hewitt (Northampton University UK) & Mahony ( NCAD Dublin)

2019, Marie Skłodowska Curie Actions - Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE) Call: H2020-MSCA-RISE-2018. (€690,000)

‘Freee- Carraci Institute Project’

2016 Arts Council England – Individual Artist Award (£5,600)

‘Socio-Artistic communities and revolving ecological development’. PI Jordan

2012 - 2013 AHRC, Travel Support Fund, (£8,000)

‘The Resilience & Regeneration potential of Creative Arts communities in an Age of Austerity’ CI Jordan

2011- 2012 AHRC Project development (£16,000)

‘Interdisciplinary research for the arts and humanities: from lone scholarship to collective project’, LEADeR award: Loughborough Excellence Awards for Developing Research Leadership. PI Jordan

2011 -2012, EPSRC, Leadership Award


‘Public Communications: Art, Technology and the Public Sphere’. Interdisciplinary research - with Political Science and Design Engineering PI Bruff & CoI Jordan

2011- 2013, EPSRC,

‘Bridging the Gaps Fund’, (£18,000)

‘Freee Art Collective: international exhibition events’


2009 Arts Council England - Artist Award (£12,500)

‘Futurology: Issues contexts and conditions for contemporary art practice today’

2004, Creative Partnerships, Arts Council England, Black County Tourism, Black Country Regeneration, Regen West Midlands, Walsall Borough Council (£98,000)

Hewitt and Jordan: Artist development art and its publics

2002 Arts Council England – Major Individual Artist Award (£25,000)


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