Cv / Résumé

Chris Dooks Current Cv
Email / Web: /


Academic Education

2010+ Ongoing PhD at The University of The West of Scotland in Ayr.
1994 Edinburgh College of Art, BA (hons) Film and Television
1989/91 Cleveland College of Art and Design Dip in Film, Television and Radio.


I am an audiovisual artist and composer of sound-art and music. I trained as a photographer and film-maker and worked as a director of television arts programmes in the late 1990s. In 1997 one of my pieces was a South Bank Show on the sound artist Scanner. During this time I was awarded a large grant from Scottish Screen / British Screen / Scottish Arts Council to develop one of my photographically driven film works, and so began a chain of short art-based films and sound works.

Whilst I was successful during this time and proud of myself for infiltrating London media scenes with no connections, nor the flagrant nepotism that surrounded me, I realised it was actually quite a lonely existence. I felt myself shifting gear and aiming to find work that was more social and not as frenetic and anxiety-driven as being a media professional can be. I went back to my art school roots, and saw that my most rewarding work had been in residencies.

I live for residencies. I love being stimulated by different environments and ways of life, which in turn has made me more interested in socially engaged work. In 1998 I spent a summer in California (mainly in the desert) making a documentary on saving and documenting Native American rock art, and this was the point when I began to define myself as an artist. As well as my documentary being screened on PBS in the USA, I had been making my own sister works at the same time.

This turn in my career path was successful. On my return to the UK I was awarded a substantial grant from Isis Arts in Newcastle as part of Arts Council of England’s “Year of The Artist” scheme. My residency was within a BBC TV and local news film archive in the north of England. At the same time I also gained my first record deal as a composer and was played on BBC national radio. Since that time I’ve been regularly publicly funded and worked in arts education. I’ve also started selling my photographs, and for two recent residencies I made several A1-sized Lambda-process prints, most of which have now been sold.

My current work is very centred on health. I’m in the second year of a PhD at The University of The West of Scotland in Ayr. It is a practice-led PhD asking if the arts can partly emancipate sufferers of chronic illnesses from their conditions, especially those who have reached the end of the line with NHS services. In reality, this is simply accessible arts practice. I’m arguing that projects developed for audiences like these need not be compromised for able-bodied audiences. They need to be in no way dumbed-down or compromised. I use astronomy, psychogeography, the audio arts, and appropriation – all as methodologies – all the things I thought I’d never use whilst at art school! This will ultimately form a suite of practical tools for the chronically ill. Astronomy represents about a third of these ‘art-prescriptions’ I am developing and I have made many astronomy-related pieces.


Artist Residencies 1996-2011

2011 Holmston House Ayr
Moons, Site-specific installation and series of astronomy lectures/workshops (local authority funded)

2010 Ayr Academy, Ayr Lodestone, Sound Artist in Residence for Tramway / Ayr Town Hall (Creative Scotland)

2009 Steyning Festival Surreal Steyning, Steyning Festival Artist in Residence, Sussex (Arts Council England)

2009 Timespan Heritage Centre Studio 1824, Ice House Artist in Residence, Sutherland (Creative Scotland)

2009 Market Gallery Glasgow for An Tobar, Mull How’s The Ghost, GFT Artist in Residence, Glasgow (Scottish Arts Council. & Market Gallery)

2006 Deveron Arts / Box Projects, Lumsden The Slough of Despond, The Wicker Man Remixed: Halloween Festival Artist in Residence, Huntly, Aberdeenshire (Scottish Arts Council)

2006 Leith Festival and Gallery A1 Artist in Residence The Room of One Arm Free, Edinburgh (Scottish Arts Council)

2005 Embassy Court As Ruby’s Comet, Artist in Residence, Brighton, Sussex (Grant from Bluestorm Ltd)

2005 Re:Create Social Inclusion Project Artist in Residence, Edinburgh (Scottish Arts Council)

2003 Stills Gallery, Edinburgh Artist in Residence, producing a large body of work (Scottish Arts Council).

2001 North Tyneside Arts, North Shields, Tyneside Video Artist in Residence to produce three film works for a permanent collection

2001 STEIM Amsterdam (Studio for Electro-Instrumental Music) Musician in Residence, Amsterdam.

2001 Cornish College of The Arts, Seattle Internet Artist in Residence (College Funded)

2000 Newcastle University Department of Fine Art Resident Artist

2000 BBC Television Northern Film Archive Year of The Artist To Look North, Artist in Residence (Arts Council England)

1996 Ellen Wilkinson High School, Manchester Artist in Residence and tutor (Arts Council Eng.)

Non-Residency Financial Awards

Between 1994 and the present day, I have been awarded funds from:

The Scottish Arts Council/Creative Scotland, The Arts Council of England, Scottish Screen, The Esmee Fairbain Foundation and funds from other smaller funders and grant-giving organisations. In the main, these have been a combination of awards to make new work, however, funds have been made available to me to attend festivals and networking events around the UK and Europe.

A large grant was awarded in 1996 for my seven minute film No One Sees Black which was funded by British Screen, The Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen. This was to emulate industry conditions for film production. It was part of Scottish Television’s “Prime Cuts” series and the only artist-based anti-narrative work ever funded by the scheme.


Art-based Moving Image Credits

(Gallery-based, Festivals and Online Film and Video Commissions.
Much of this work is on this site.)

2010 An Tobar Arts Centre, Mull
Pinder, 45 min video piece of exhibition How’s The Ghost?

2009 The One Minutes, International -
Glasgow 8 x 1 Minutes

2007 Another Roadside Attraction Gallery, London
I, Log

2006 Scottish Sculpture Workshop / Deveron Arts
Glacial Motion

2006 Deveron Arts & Box Projects
The Slough of Despond - The Wicker Man Remixed

2006 and The Leith Festival
(May They Keep) One Arm Free

The Erica Tetralix Polyfaith Map of Edinburgh (film)

2003 National Museum of Scotland and
Tathagata Tales

2002 Shorts Retrospective 2 - Sonar Festival Barcelona

2002 Shorts Retrospective 1 - Instal.02, The Arches, Glasgow 2002

2001 Dancebase / Scottish Arts Council – Toronto Dance Film Festival
Leg Across My Kin

2000 International Documentary Festival Amsterdam - lecture, screening, interviews
To Look North

2000 Isis Arts at The Millenium Exerience
Svanejeger / Kaibilder / Organismene

1999 Traverse Theatre Edinburgh / Arches Glasgow, multimedia – Scottish Arts Council
Liquid Oxygen

1994 Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow
Hirta Works shot on St Kilda, now in permanent collection

Broadcast Television Credits
(all as writer / director / lighting camera unless stated)

1998 Eyes in Stone, Rock Art in Modoc County - California - PBS USA

1997 Glaswegian Bedroom Beethovens, Scottish Television

1997 The South Bank Show - Scanner, London Weekend Television (writer/director)

1997 No One Sees Black, Scottish Screen & Scottish Television

1996 Beacons - Scottish Screen & Scottish Television, (Winner) Scottish Screen 'Centenary Reels' scheme

1994 The Sound of Taransay, Yorkshire Television

Music and Sound Art [Publications]
(CD Publications on Record Labels, often containing CDrom elements - this list is only physical releases. There is much more on my ’s’ page)


2003 Drum Gizmo – - Belfast, Northern Ireland

Some Paths Lead Back Again CD, Highpoint Lowlife, London

1998 Bip-Hop Generation CD (with three artists), Bip-Hop, Marseilles, France


2011 Triple Triage CD and postcard, Hibernate Recordings

2008 The Aesthetic Animals Album CD, Benbecula Records

2005 As Ruby's Comet - Sycamore Tubs E.P. CD, Domino Records / Bluestorm Ltd

2003 Apprentice – CD Play soundtrack for Rosslyn Chapel Drama, Fringe First Award, Edinburgh

2002 You Know, You Love Something Little CD+CDrom, Lost Vessel Recordings

2001 To Look North CD+CDrom, Isis Arts, Newcastle

2000 Reciprocess CD(with Frank Bretschneider), Bip-Hop

1999 Social Electics CD+CDrom, Bip-Hop, Marseilles France – an internet audio project prior to broadband collaborating with artists from Sweden, USA, France, UK and Japan. Featured and interviewed on BBC Radio 3.

In the media

My music work has been played on national BBC stations several times most notably as part of “Mixing It” which also featured interviews with me produced by BBC Radio who came to talk to me in Edinburgh about my work. The Wire magazine have also played my music and sound art as part of their shows

As Librettist and Lyricist

Beachwalking (choral piece) [1996] performed by The Mary House Singers at St Giles Cathedral.
Composed by Rebecca Rowe

The Glen Loth Broth – lyrics for folk singer Alasdair Roberts. Site-specific piece in Helmsdale, Sutherland 2010

Live Shows

Commissioned performances include The Gallery of Modern Art (Glasgow, 2011), The Queen’s Hall (Edinburgh 2007), Perth Concert Hall (Horsecross 2005), Café Oto London (2009), and as part of various artist residencies all over the UK and Europe and online. Also dozens of non-commissioned live performances around Scotland and beyond.

Further Sound Projects

Please consult to stream any of my sound art and music works from 1994 onwards. There’s some new works on the site including community arts projects, manifestos, and film soundtracks plus spoken word pieces and monologues.

Psychogeography Projects

The trilogy of ‘psychogeography’ projects listed here are accessible environmental responses to illness and incarceration. The first two map the city of Edinburgh outside the tourist zones and the Steyning one was a usurping of an affluent and pretty Sussex village.

By re-appropriating dull and neglected portions of the city as being significant a series of ‘stations’ is created with a narrative. Influenced in part by the deification of geography by mainstream religion (such as The Stations of The Cross in Catholicism) these projects use alternative and idiosyncratic narratives, often with mp3 files, to ‘reveal’ hidden or lost artworks. Through portable sound art and maps, visitors to these sites are able to ‘see’ with new eyes, by suggestion and the phenomena of “paraeidolia” (seeing faces in chaos) and “simulacra” forms (seeing shapes in chaos)

This started a line of enquiry about making works of art without physically altering anything. The central idea behind the projects is that it is the viewer who is altered, then the work suddenly ‘appears.’

1. 2005
The Erica Tetralix Polyfaith Map of Edinburgh Funded by

See for a short film before visiting the archived project here - This project appears to be about a dead physics teacher, but it is revealed it is about the act of looking. Despite this, many people have spoken to me about how they knew my fictional alter ego, Erica. She is actually a shrub in the botanical gardens in Edinburgh. This isn’t revealed until the final ‘station.’ For further information on this project please speak to Jan McTaggart at Dundee Contemporary Arts ( who commissioned the work whilst at Stills in Edinburgh.

2. 2007
Select Avocados Self funded

I was keen to develop this way of working and so made another project about Advocates Close for The Edinburgh Art Festival in 2007 – this doesn’t require sound files although 50 people attended a live show where art and (fake) artists were revealed in a performance. All the works are ‘fake’ and are appropriated pieces.

3. 2009
Surreal Steyning Funded by The Arts Council of England £2,000

After the success of these two tours, I was asked by a Sussex arts festival if I would design a tour around their village. I was delighted to create this tour which uncovered alternative histories of the village’s popular and neglected locations. One of my favourite residency/commissioned works ever. (The website is undergoing some reconstruction, the mp3 files can be downloaded but not streamed at present.)


Visual Art Shows [Solo/Duo]

The gallery hasn’t been the place where I’ve exhibited most of my solo work – but I have had two large scale funded solo shows and a third one with author and illustrator Mitch Miller. The one with Mitch produced a large body of photographic work, much of which has been sold.

Most of my solo work is performance-based or the above psychogeography projects, or online projects, or a combination of several media. With my photographic and installation pieces, they have tended to be within groups shows, however, here are the main gallery ones.

2010 How’s The Ghost – Market Gallery Glasgow and An Tobar, Mull Photography, short fiction, and film archive manipulations with Scottish Fairground communities in Glasgow – Scottish Arts Council and The Esme Fairbairn Foundation. With Mitch Millar (in different site).

2009 Studio 1824 – Timespan, Helmsdale. Six large scale Lambda prints and various video installations, with a live show and artist’s talk. Solo. See residencies and

2001 Chris Dooks in The Big M – Solo Show in large-scale inflatable video art venue at Teesside University – this was the public launch of my year of the artist millennial residency at the Northern Region Film and Television Archive at it’s Middlesbrough venue. A digital edition was launched (

1998 Eyes In Stone, Rock Art in Modoc – Solo show of photographs of Native American Rock Art to accompany my documentary for PBS in California. The venue was a gallery space in Alturas, California.

Visual Art Shows [Group]

Ricochet Stills Gallery Edinburgh. Work from The Erica Tetralix Polyfaith Map of Edinburgh. Centrepiece of the exhibition was a pair of eight foot high reproductions of a tarmac spillage on a pavement.

2003/4 Inside Out Stills Gallery Edinburgh. Several text works and two installations: Samboghakaya (video piece) and The 17 Perfections of the CD Burner (meditation space with text).

2002 X-BIT Isis Arts, Newcastle

2001 The Ditvoorst Domains Sandberg Institute Amsterdam – myself and a cluster of digital artists were asked to re-edit and re-appropriate work from filmmaker Adrian Ditvoorst, for the Stifo organistation.

2001 Dancefilms at Dancebase Dancebase, Edinburgh – my dance piece Leg Across My Kin was exhibited for a royal visit (cough, cough).

2000 Staff Show, Edinburgh College of Art.

2000 The Big M, Newcastle (inflatable video art cinema) which I would later have a solo show in.

2000 Liquid Oxygen, Traverse Theatre Bar Edinburgh, exhibition of photographs taken from my video work for Fight or Flight Physical Theatre Company. I was mixing live video on the night with a series of films.


Teaching [1995-2011]

2011 University of Bristol, paper presentation (will be published) on Astonomy and Music
2011 Holmston House, Ayr – ‘Photograpy and Breathing’ and ‘Music as Triage’
2010 GoMa Glasgow lecture on ‘play’
2010 CCA Glasgow lecture on ‘the mashup’
2010 Inverurie - Mindspace – working / shadowing schizophrenia sufferer. Managed by box projects, Lumsden.
2010 Ayr Academy, Ayr – digital sound recording and editing
2009 Timespan, Sutherland – psychogeographic / sound art workshops for young people
2006 3rd International Middle East Festival, Edinburgh – lecture on my project polyfaith
2005 The National Galleries of Scotland Edinburgh (Spin) on my career 1995-2005
2005 Stills Gallery Edinburgh - Nuances As Narration: Workshop for visually impaired clients. Tutor and Designer
2004 Stills Gallery Edinburgh - Art and Buddhism: A lecture based on my holistic video piece Samboghakaya
2004 Edinburgh Buddhist Centre - The Noble Eightfold Path: a lecture
2003 Stills Gallery - The Seventeen Perfections of The CD Burner: Lecture about art and death.
2001 University of Newcastle, Fine Art Dept - Video Art / Sound / Film lecturer
2001 Cornish College of Arts, Seattle, New Media Dept - Distance Video Art / Film lecturer
2001 Sandberg Institute of Arts, Amsterdam, New Media Dept - Visiting International Lecturer
1996/07 Edinburgh College of Art, Film and TV / Photography Dept
1995/96 Cleveland College of Art and Design - Course leader, Fine Art and Film TV Dept
1996 The Landscape and Art Institute, Surrey, about my Gaelic work in The Hebrides (and on my work with Daniel Reeves and Bill Viola)


The ScotsmanIf memory had a sound, it would sound like this” For How’s The Ghost – An Tobar & Market Gallery

Scottish Arts Council Evaluation Review
For my part in group show Ricochet 2005
Commission: Psychogeographic Tour & Exhibition at Stills Gallery, Edinburgh

The only work which really stood out in terms of its originality and ambition, was the work by Chris Dooks, whose previous projects for Stills have also been excellent.”

Again Chris Dooks is to be highlighted here, as one of the tours is an organised bus tour around the sites in his Polyfaith Map ‐ which should be seen as a performance event, as well as an attempt to increase access to the work.”

Jan McTaggart
Head of Communications at Dundee Contemporary Arts
Commissioned Chris to make conceptual tour of Edinburgh –

Ever full of new, exciting and often brilliant ideas, Chris is an inspiration. When I commissioned Chris to create a project to engage with new audiences and extend the experience of existing audiences, he delivered a project that exceeded my (very high) expectations. And it was fun too!

Hazel Mclaren
Curator and Cultural Project Manger, Lumsden, Aberdeenshire
For my part with Deveron Arts / Box Projects Halloween in Huntly

Chris was approached at very short notice to come up with an entirely new piece of work for the Halloween in Huntly festival in Aberdeenshire in 2006. Halloween in Huntly is an annual festival that at that point had taken place for 4 years in Huntly ‐ a rural market town in Aberdeenshire. Artists had been invited have been invited from all over europe to take part in this festival over the years. And it had turned into a highly popular event over the years with over 2000 visitors.

The criteria for the work was that it had to be a new commission that involved sound/music in some way, it would be an outdoors performance (in November!) and that it had to be a contemporary work that linked into the traditional notion of Halloween. In one month Chris came up with a large scale 7 x 10 foot outdoor video projection and live soundpiece, filming, editing and creating the work only took two weeks. In spite of the extremely tight deadline, Chris came up with a memorable piece of work that demanded its space in the town square and was a fantastic climax to the event.

Chris is an extremely creative individual who even with time against him is capable of coming up with an astounding piece of work. I would highly recommend him to any curator who is looking for an artist that can make a work of real impact under challenging conditions.

Rosita McKenzie
Blind Photographer and Disability Equality Consultant, Edinburgh For “
Nuances as Narration” Visual Impaired Sculpture Project at

“Chris Dooks is a highly gifted artist with a very engaging personality. His originality of thought and approach, are both inspiring and rather breath‐taking. An example of this was the poetry / visual art workshop he designed for visually impaired people entitled Nuances as Narration. It was the first time he had worked with visually impaired participants, many of whom had no experience of visual arts involvement. It was clear from the outset that his very carefully drawn‐up workshop plan was not going to work with such an inexperienced group.

So, he simply threw it aside and let his intuitive nature and immense skill take over. By the end of the session, he had transformed a potential failure into an extraordinary success! Each blind participant (myself included), handling only everyday objects, had been inspired to create their own unique narrative (describing a visual art piece) and with Chris’s assistance, produced an audio recording, using technology and methods previously unfamiliar to them. It is for this and many other reasons that I feel privileged to collaborate with such a remarkable and insightful artist.”