For over 20 years, Neal White has critically explored art in relation to new ideas, forms and technologies. As part of numerous collaborative endeavours – he has been developing projects, research and artworks, publications, archives, fieldworks, critical excursions as bus tours and exhibitions with academics, architects and activists. His current work explores situated practices and knowledge - drawing together environmental and ecological matters of concern with marine biologists, ecologists, coders, architects and volunteers in Poole Harbour and Brownsea Island, Dorset for Arts Catalyst's Test Sites programme.
As part of this journey, he has worked with many collaborating artists, most recently Tina O’Connell (2014-), as well as with groups of artists, coders and scientists. He was a co-founder of Soda (art and technology, 1997-2002), a founder of ‘Office of Experiments’ (art and research - est. 2004) and a Director of O+I between 2006-9 (formerly Artist Placement Group est.1966). He has exhibited his work and his research Internationally; recently at Fargfabriken, Stockholm (SE) Objectif Exhibitions, Antwerp (BE), Royal College of Art, Whitechapel Gallery, Henry Moore Institute and Portikus, Frankfurt (DE), and has been supported by organisations in developing new work, such as Latham Foundation, Center for Land Use Interpretation (USA), Henry Moore Foundation and in 2010-12 was commissioned by Arts Catalyst for the project Dark Places, uncovering sites of secrecy and knowledge across Britain. Neal White is a Professor at University of Westminster, where he also directs the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM), a UK leader in research in art, design and media.
Arts Catalyst commissioned Neal on the project A Field User’s Guide to Dark Places, in 2012, an online database detailing sites of secrecy in the world of science and technology. This resource is a response to the vast infrastructure of the techno-scientific and industrial/military complex deliberately kept under close guard. White’s research considers political and philosophical questions concerning inaccessible / secret spaces, and is focused upon the South of England.
In 2010, Neal White ran the ‘Experimental Ruins Workshop’, alongside Gail Davies of UCL’s Department of Geography and fellow Office of Experiments artist, Steve Rowell. The workshop involved talks and discussions between geographers, artists, historians of science and technology, and the archivists and archaeologists of contemporary history. The subjects under discussion explored biological, technological, informational and radical experiments in London, applying White’s psychogeographical curiosity to the immediate environment. Uncontrolled Hermetic, an installation by Neal White in 2002, was an early expression of White’s interest with experimental methodologies inspired by visits to genetics, pharmaceutical and space laboratories around Europe. Uncontrolled Hermetic imitated the activities and methods that scientists and manufacturers use to conduct experiments and to build specialist equipment in the laboratory.
In 2016, Neal was invited to contribute to Notes from the Field: Commoning Practices in Art and Science, a multi-faceted project investigating the notion of art as a tool or tactic for action with communities, with a focus on projects involving science and technology or driven by ecological concerns.