Dr Michael Schofield

Dr Michael Schofield


I’m a photographer, filmmaker and practice-led media researcher from Leeds. My multimodal work often explores the theme of disappearance alongside the haunting qualities of photographic representation.

In 2018 I was awarded a PhD for my practice-led research on the ontology of photography entitled ‘Aura and Trace: The Hauntology of the Rephotographic Image’. My supervisors were Simon Popple and Dr. Jim Brogden, and the thesis was examined by Dr Kate Nash and Dr Sarah Atkinson (King’s College London). The research was based on my own creative practice as a landscape photographer, utilising appropriated archival images of areas of the city which have disappeared, and a deconstruction of various rephotographic forms. The practice interrogated theory regarding the photograph as a paradoxical temporal distortion, approached through the metaphor of the ghost, and the Derridian notion of ‘hauntology’. Alongside the thesis, which compared the analogue and digital photographs involved and proposes a view of ‘aura’ as historically contingent, the research also resulted in various practice-based outputs, including a photo book called A Window on Time, and a video projection work installed at Leeds Light Night: The Remote Viewer.

As well as my various lens-based activities I am also a critically acclaimed musician. I publish and exhibit work under several different aliases including Michael C Coldwell and CC.


  • Programme leader for BA Film, Photography and Media

Research interests

My current research concerns the changing ontology of media, including the appropriation of obsolete communication technologies in digital cultures including rephotography, sampling and ‘hauntology’. Through this lens I study the shifting nature of still and moving image, philosophies of time and media archaeology as a creative process.

I have a broad range of other related research interests including:

  • Documentary and essay film
  • Digital archives
  • Immersive media and installation
  • No-budget filmmaking
  • Underground and experimental cinema
  • Landscape and urban photography
  • Electronic music and sound design
  • Creative practice as research
  • Memory studies (postmemory)
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://ahc.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


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

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Student education

I teach on several BA and MA modules related to photography and film, supervising dissertations and practical projects. I’m particualrly interested in helping students interrogate theory through developing their creative practice.