Deborah Robinson is an artist and Associate Professor (Reader) in Contemporary Art at Plymouth University where she co-ordinates the ARC (Arts Research Collective) research group. Trained as a painter, Robinson earned a doctorate degree from Plymouth University in 2003, writing her dissertation on ‘The Materiality of Text and Body in Painting and Darkroom Processes: An Investigation Through Practice,’ which engaged with feminist and psychoanalytic theory.
Intrigued by the social and political implications of advances in the life sciences, Robinson works collaboratively with scientists, artists, and technologists to develop projects around big data, genomics, evolutionary biology, and climate change through residencies at major scientific institutes. She often draws on surrealist strategies to evoke a repressed ‘underside’ of scientific knowledge such as the mind/body divide upon which experimentation is premised.
Currently Robinson is focused on exploring artistic practice as a means to examine questions of (human/non-human) agency as in ‘Parasite’, a multiscreen audio-visual installation addressing malaria made with the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridgeshire and winner of the 2013 Shanghai International Science and Art Award for Excellence. Robinson’s work is exhibited internationally and her research has been supported by fellowships at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin and the ESRC Genomics Network, Edinburgh.