Paul Dolan

Senior Lecturer

Research interests

My research incorporates theory and practice from contemporary art, new media art, post-photography, software studies and videogame theory. My research is based around computer simulations, and can be divided into four main areas of interest:


The ecological impact of virtual culture –I am interested in the operational and physical impact of computer simulations and digital media on the physical environment. My current practice explores physical sites involved in the mining, manufacturing and disposal of digital media.


The ontology of Computer simulations – I use the term computer simulations to mean animation, videogames and VFX processes across commercial and artistic contexts. I am interested in the ontological form and behaviour of computer simulations – what they are, how they work, and what impact they have on contemporary life.


Recalcitrant Temporalities – I am interested in how time is constructed in real-time computer simulations. My research challenges the simplicity of the term ‘real-time’ and offers an Assemblage Theory-based approach to understanding heterogenous temporalities that cut across human, non-human, physical and virtual domains.


Re-materialising simulations – My research adopts new-materialist philosophies to understanding digital media and art. I am interested in using practice to gain a better understanding of where the intersections of the real and virtual lie in computer simulations. Existing research on Software Studies, Media Ecologies, Media Archaeology and other forms of Digital Materialisms all underpin this line of thinking.

Research Student Supervision Interests

I welcome enquiries relating to computer simulation, animation, videogames, VFX, VR and AR. Proposals that relate to new media art and contemporary art are particularly welcome.

Organisational affiliations

Education/Academic qualification

  • PhD, Arts (general), Northumbria University

    In Silico: A Practice-based exploration of computer simulations in art.

    1 Sep 2013 - 4 Jul 2019
  • PGCE, Teaching & Learning

    1 Sep 2004 - 31 Dec 2099

Professional Qualifications

  • Higher Education Academy Fellowship, FHEA

    1 Sep 2018 - 28 May 2019