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John Cussans

John Cussans the MFA Course leader at the Ruskin. He is an artist, writer and researcher with an academic background in graphic design, illustration and art theory. His practice, which is often collaborative, crosses video, text, image-making, cultural history and alternative pedagogy.

John began making and exhibiting work while completing his doctoral thesis on Georges Bataille and the Video Nasty controversy at the Royal College of Art in the mid 90s, having his first solo exhibition at Cabinet gallery, London, in 1994.  

In 2001 he co-founded The Bughouse, an international artistic collaboration inspired by the works of the science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, and in 2008 he co-founded The Free School in a New Dark Age, a no-cost, arts education initiative that became active in the student protest movement between 2010 and 2012. Since 2009 he has been involved with the Ghetto Biennale in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, often working with the Haitian video collective Tele Geto. 

John has exhibited at a number of galleries internationally, and his writing has been published in several collections and journals, including Frozen TearsStrange Attractor Journal and Transmission Annual. His book Undead Uprising: Haiti, Horror and the Zombie Complex (Strange Attractor Press) presents history of Haiti through the chimerical optic of “voodoo horror”. 

He is currently working on a Leverhulme-funded artistic research project - The Skullcracker Suite - designed to test Eduardo Vivieros de Castros’ notion of “the permanent decolonization of thought” in the context of the contemporary art scene of British Columbia since the 1970's. He is also a Visiting Research Fellow in the Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths.