Michael Schofield

Michael Schofield


I am an artist and photographer currently conducting practice-led research into the medium of rephotography, investigating what it can tell us about the hauntology, materiality and changing ontology of the photographic image. I am on a full scholarship from the School of Media and Communication, and my PhD is supervised by Simon Popple and Dr. James Brogden. As well as my media research at the School, I work as a freelance photographer and multimodal artist under the pseudonym Michael C Coldwell.

Examples of my work can be found on my portfolio website: www.michaelcoldwell.co.uk

Alongside my practice and visual research, my responsibilities in the School include work as a teaching assistant, seminar leader and conducting assessment on several different undergraduate modules (Visual Communication, Cinematic Themes, Film Theory and Aesthetics) and guest lecturing on several MA modules (Urban Narratives, Final Indepedent Project).

I have previously worked in the department as a demonstrator on undergraduate module Creative Practice COMM2800, running practical workshops for students of photography and documentary film.

Before joining the School, I was Co-Director of an innovative media company conducting Arts Council-funded research into video archiving technologies for the performing arts.

Research interests

My practice-led research into the temporal and spectral nature of rephotography began in October 2015. My problem concerns the changing ontology of the photographic image in the digital era, with regard to notions of materiality, realism and mediation, and photography's role in how we both remember the landscape and perceive the passage of time. 

Through investigative practice my research aims to reveal the 'hauntology' of the photographic image, resurrecting and re-evaluating theories by Jacques Derrida and Walter Benjamin, and applying them to photography's own shifting topography of technologies and practices. The methodology for this study is grounded in both my own creative practice as a landscape photographer, and re-presentation of photographic material from the archive. Currently this work is focussed on the Godfrey Bingley photographic archive, held by Special Collections at the University Library. This project will attempt to rephotograph the lost landscapes depicted in Bingley's murky gelatin dry plates and crumbling cellulose nitrate negatives, currently being rescued by the Library's Digitisation team. These explorations aim to uncover the role the materiality of the image itself plays in our resurrections and re-imaginings of the past, and examines the effects of this on the digital archive. 

Other research interests include hauntology and cultural theory, sound art and installation, film theory and psychoanalysis, digital materialism and creative practice as a research methodology. I am also very interested in non-narrative and slow cinema, and the use of duration in film and related media.

More information on my research is available from www.michaelcoldwell.co.uk/auratrace.html


  • MA Cinema and Photography
  • BA (Hons) Visual Communication
  • BTEC Foundation Art and Design