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Dr Michael Pigott

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Associate Professor

Tel: +44 2476 523511
Email: Michael dot Pigott at warwick dot ac dot uk

Room A0.21
Millburn House
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7HS


Michael Pigott's main research interests are in video and projection arts, experimental film and world cinema. He is co-investigator on The Projection Project, an AHRC funded project on cinematic projection.

Michael is also a practising artist by the name of Michael Lightborne. His website is 

Research interests

I have particular interests in:

  • The relationship between cinema and architecture; the practical use of film and sound recording techniques to investigate space, both urban and rural; video projection (including projection mapping) and urban space.
  • The temporality of moving image works, slow motion and long duration, ambient video on Youtube, and the ontology and aesthetics of digital video.
  • The history of cinema projection and the role of the projectionist
  • VJing and live cinema.
  • Phonographic field recording and sensory ethnography
  • Experimental film and video art

My recent monograph Joseph Cornell Versus Cinema (Bloomsbury, 2013) uses the experimental film work of the American artist Joseph Cornell as a novel means to engage with our contemporary mediascape. It examines Cornell’s filmmaking on its own terms, as a series of innovative, idiosyncratic and seminal engagements with the medium of film, and presents them as a significant contribution to twentieth century avant-garde cinema. I argue that Cornell’s film work is highly significant in terms of understanding how we relate and have related to moving images in both the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. The book traces some of the key themes running through the artist’s film work – found footage; texture and affect; and time and the everyday – revealing the extent to which Cornell was ahead of his time in establishing radically new terms of aesthetic and cultural engagement and valuation. Key questions addressed in Cornell’s film work include the role of the spectator as an active participant and the nature of knowledge transfer, understanding and aesthetic experience.

I am currently working on a monograph about location film sound, the sonic representation of the natural world entitled Wild Sound: Cinema and the Sonic Environement.

Forthcoming publications

  • Wild Sound: Cinema and the Sonic Environment (London: Bloomsbury: forthcoming)
  • 'The Ignorant Camera', in Urban Sensographies, ed. N. Whybrow (London and New York: Routledge, forthcoming 2021).

Selected publications

  • Ring Road Ring (Gruenrekorder, 2020) - vinyl and digital audio release. Can also be purchased here and here.
  • 'A New "Wild West" of Projection' (with Richard Wallace), in Virginia Crisp and Gabriel Menotti (eds), Practices of Projection: Histories and Technologies (Oxford: Oxford University Press: 2020)
  • 'Chronotopic Ghosts and Quiet Men: José Luis Guerín's Innisfree' in Journeys On Screen: Theory, ethics and aesthetics, ed. Louis Bayman and Natalia Pinazza (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2018).
  • Sounds of the Projection Box (Gruenrekorder, 2018) - vinyl and digital audio release. Can also be purchased here and here.
  • 'The Soundproof Box: Using Phonography to Investigate the Workplace of the Cinema Projectionist' in Invisible Places: Sound, Urbanism and Sense of Place 2017 Proceedings
  • ‘Sounds Of The Projection Box: Liner Notes For A Phonographic Method’ in Journal of British Cinema and Television, Vol. 14, No. 1, January 2018
  • 'Trapped in the Image: An Interview with Gerard Byrne' in Jielemeguvvie guvvie sjisjnjeli / Film inside an Image (Coventry: Mead Gallery, 2016)
  • 'The Image of Sleep', in Performance Research, Vol. 21, No.1 (2016)
  • (with Santiago Oyarzabal) World Film Locations: Buenos Aires (Bristol: Intellect Books, 2014).
  • Joseph Cornell Vs. Cinema (London: Bloomsbury, 2013).
  • World Film Locations: Venice (Bristol: Intellect Books, 2013).
  • Essays on Jan Němec and Miklós Jancsó, and multiple film entries in Directory of World Cinema: Eastern Europe ed. Adam Bingham (Bristol: Intellect Books, 2011).
  • ‘How do you solve a problem like Machinima?’ in The Machinima Reader, ed. Henry Lowood and Michael Nitsche (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2011).
  • ‘Manifesting a Mutant Past in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’, in Violating Time: History, Memory and Nostalgia in Cinema, ed. Christina Lee (London: Continuum, 2009).
  • ‘The Continuous Present in Ozu Yasujiro’s Late Spring’, in Kronoscope Volume 8 Number 1 2008.

Teaching and supervision

I teach a 2nd year module entitled Audio-visual Avant-gardes, which is open to students from the Departments of Film and Television Studies, and Theatre and Performance Studies. This module explores the history of avant-garde film, video, sound, and installation work from the early twentieth century up to the present day.

I also teach a unit on the Contemporary Performance Practices core module offered by the Theatre and Performance Studies Dept., which focusses on projection as practice and concept. I teach units on visual music and experimental film, and photography and cinema for the Visual Cultures core module offered by the Film and Television Studies Dept.

In previous years I have taught courses on: adaptation in audiovisual media that involved the analysis of film, television, and video games (Television and Audiovisual Cultures); Contemporary Art; Art Since the 1960s; an introduction to studying film that focussed on texture, affect and the senses (Basic Criticism).


National roles and professional associations

  • Co-investigator on AHRC-funded The Projection Project
  • Co-investigator on AHRC-funded Sensing the City
  • member of NECS (European Network for Cinema and Media Studies)
  • member of SLAS (Society for Latin American Studies)
  • member of SCMS (Society for Cinema and Media Studies)
  • member of Extra Special People (Eastside Projects associate artist)
  • member of Black Hole Club (Vivid Projects associate artist)
  • Technical Associate at Vivid Projects, Birmingham.


Undergraduate modules

TH237 Audio-Visual Avant-Gardes

FI330 Cinema and Architecture

FI339 Experimental Documentary Practices

FI331 Film Production

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