Thomas John Bacon is an artist whose work focuses upon the conception of the body, Being and the idea of a multiplicity of Self/s in performance. His work can be located within the framework of performance art and philosophical/phenomenological investigations that look to de/construct and challenge perception, alongside the assumed liminal barriers of body-based art.
He creates artworks that capture an altered space, environment, or period of time that regardless of scale, will often make intense, sometimes visceral, beautiful pieces that place the body in extremis.
Thomas has been exhibiting his solo practice since 2001 and internationally since 2009 particularly through Europe and East-coast USA. He is also the artistic director of of the festival of international performance art and noise art called, Tempting Failure.
In 2014 The British Library selected this website for their permanent archive. In 2016, his company Tempting Failure was invited to become a core member of Live Art UK.
Thomas has been a qualified lecturer since 2007 and is committed to the creative exchange between both practice and research methdologies that occur within his own output and those through his undergraduate and post-graduate teaching. He is also active within forms of education pedagogy standardisation working as an External Examiner currently for Sheffield Hallum University and previously with University of Highlands and Islands and on degree reviews both within Middlesex and externally at Southampton Solent University.
His teaching is distinguished by its range of scope and approach. He works with students across contemporary and historical performance making, integrating theoretical, philosophical and critical approaches to the study of performance. Thomas often explores experimental forms of engagement, expanding upon current industry methodologies and traditional practices through studio praxis.
General teaching and learning interests:
Specialist teaching interests:
Thomas has supervised and examined a range of research and degree students. He invites potential students, whether considering MPhil or PhD, to discuss proposals for study in areas related to his own research interests, including Practice as Research projects.
Thomas John Bacon's main focus is upon novel applications of phenomenology to the study of performance art, specifically body art, a form which has undergone limited phenomenological analysis in existing scholarship. Analysing the Being of the performance artist in the process of performative action, where the material is their own, “lived body” (Merleau-Ponty 2002), focusing on how their presence is perceived, produced and experienced through spectator, space, and artist.
This is underpinned by key phenomenological theories from Maurice Merleau-Ponty (1968, 2002), considering embodied performing and spectating experientially. With additional insight from Martin Heidegger’s theories (2009a, 2009b), Thomas John Bacon proposes that a multiplicity of Self/s are perceived through an investment in physical, psychological or aesthetic risk.
Practice as Research:
Knowledge transfer is vital to the work he undertakes and he is always engaged with considering new ways to impart information to students, professionals and peer scholars. The following are a selection of practice-as-research projects, exhibitions, residencies or performances:
Further information on Thomas John Bacon's practice can be found at:
Conferences & Speaking Engagements:
Publications - PhD thesis
Publications - peer reviewed journals