Cardiff School of Art & Design>Staff>Professor Clive Cazeaux

Professor Clive Cazeaux  BA MA PhD

Clive CazeauxProfessor of Aesthetics
t: +44 (0)29 2041 6680

Specialist Subject Areas

• metaphor and visual thinking in aesthetics and the theory of knowledge
• the philosophies of artistic research and art-science practice
• ecological aesthetics and listening as responses to dualistic subject–object thought


PhD in Philosophy, University of Wales
MA in Philosophy, University of Wales
BA (Hons) Fine Art, University of London, Goldsmiths


I studied Fine Art at Goldsmiths College, University of London (1984-87), and it was the questions I encountered there concerning the nature of representation in drawing which led me to Philosophy. An MA in Philosophy at Cardiff University allowed me to locate these questions in Kant’s theory of knowledge (1989-90), and prepared the ground for my PhD study – at the Technische Universität, Berlin (1992), and at Cardiff University (1990-95) – on how recent theories of metaphor in art and science can be informed by Kantian philosophy.

In 1995 I was appointed Lecturer in Philosophy at Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, part of the University of Central England as it was then. I took up a Senior Lectureship in Aesthetics at the University of Wales Institute, Cardiff, one year later. From 2003 I was Programme Leader for BA Art and Philosophy, and from 2007 to 2016 I was Head of Research Degrees in Cardiff School of Art and Design. I became Professor of Aesthetics in 2012.

Current research

Much of my research is driven by an interest in metaphor or how one thing can be about something else, e.g. ‘architecture is frozen music’ (Schelling), ‘the insect voice of the clock’ (Orwell). Behind this is a fascination for how things are grouped together or classified as one kind of thing, and the consequences of this compartmentalization for knowledge and thinking. On the one hand, metaphor relies upon compartmentalization by applying one thing to another but, on the other, it rejects it by claiming that two different things are the same. Furthermore, the claim made by a metaphor is nonsensical yet striking and insightful. How can this be? Consideration has to be given, I think, to the nature of concepts, and how it is that any one concept can be both a centre of familiar meaning, while also entertaining connections with concepts that are alien or remote.

I have just finished writing a book on the philosophy of artistic research, entitled Art, Research, Philosophy, which will be published by Routledge in early 2017. The last two decades have seen the emergence of artistic research: art produced as a contribution to knowledge, either by artist-academics and doctoral students working in university art departments or through artists participating in research projects in other faculties. As a new subject, it raises several questions: What is art-as-research? Don’t the requirements of research amount to an imposition on the artistic process that dilutes the power of art? How can something subjective become objective? I think artistic research is an exciting development in the history of the contest between aesthetics and epistemology. In the book, I draw upon ideas from philosophy – principally Kant, phenomenology and critical theory – to show how the immediacies of art and experience are enmeshed in the structures that create knowledge. Metaphor is also not far away, as a form of insight that arises from the embodied, material nature of art practice.

Beyond this, I intend: (1) to explore how material expression in art can offer ways of addressing ethical concerns within artistic research; (2) to pursue the implications of the concepts of articulation and disclosure in recent French and German epistemology for art–science debate; and (3) to look at how paying close attention to the material, sensory form of artworks (including the metaphors created by this attention) can undercut anxieties surrounding ‘theory and practice’ by generating theoretically significant interpretations of the works.

Principal Publications, Exhibitions and Awards

View Prof Cazeaux’ papers and publications on Cardiff Metropolitan University’s DSpace repository.

Articles and chapters

2019 Which ‘Martin Creed’? Or switching from insignificance to significance. In Aesthetics, Philosophy and Conceptual Art, eds. E. Schelleckens and D. Dal Sasso. London: Bloomsbury, pp. TBC.

2017 Aesthetics as ecology, or the question of form in eco-art. In Extending Ecocriticism: Crisis, Collaboration and Challenges in the Environmental Humanities, eds. P. Barry and W. Welstead. Manchester: Manchester University Press, pp. 149-69.

2016 Epistemology and sensation. In Sage Encyclopaedia of Theory in Psychology, ed. H. Miller. Thousand Oaks: Sage, pp. 294-7.

2015 The aesthetics of the scientific image. Journal of Aesthetics and Phenomenology, vol. 2.2, pp. 1-23.

2015 Insights from the metaphorical nature of making. Lo Sguardo, vol 17.1, pp. 373-91. Online.

2013 Leading Plato into the darkroom. In On Perfection: An Artists’ Symposium, ed. J. Longhurst. Bristol: Intellect, pp. 65-83.

2012 Sensation as participation in visual art. Aesthetic Pathways vol.2.2, pp. 2-30.

2012 Deconstructing and reconstructing artists with PhDs. In Beyond Deconstruction, ed. A. Martinengo. Berlin: De Gruyter, pp. 107-34.

2010 Beauty is not in the eye-stalk of the beholder. In Doctor Who and Philosophy, eds. P. Smithka and C. Lewis. Chicago: Open Court, pp. 313-24.

2009 Locatedness and the objectivity of interpretation in practice-based research. Working Papers in Art and Design, vol. 5. Online.

2008 Inherently interdisciplinary: four perspectives on practice-based research. Journal of Visual Arts Practice, vol. 7, pp. 107-32.


2017 Art, Research, Philosophy. Abingdon: Routledge.

2011 The Continental Aesthetics Reader. Abingdon: Routledge. Expanded, second edition.

2007 Metaphor and Continental Philosophy: From Kant to Derrida. New York: Routledge.

Supervision of Doctoral Research (titles or broad areas of investigation)

I am interested in supervising doctoral research in the following areas:

· the philosophy of metaphor
· the philosophy of the senses
· ecological aesthetics, including alternatives to subject–object thinking
· art or design practice-based research that engages with philosophy
· art or design as philosophy
· the relationship between theory and practice in art or design
· the philosophy of writing, including art writing.