Reed College

Thomson & Craighead: Never Odd or Even

British artists Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead will present a selection of their work made over the last twenty years as part of this spring's Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors in the Visual Arts series.

The lecture will be followed by a reception with the artists at the Cooley Gallery and is free and open to the public.

Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead are artists living and working in London. They make artworks and installations for galleries and specific sites including online spaces. Much of their recent work looks at live networks like the web and how they are changing the way we all understand the world around us. Having both studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in Dundee, Thomson is Reader in Fine Art at The Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, while Craighead is a reader in contemporary art and visual culture at University of Westminster and lectures in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University.

Thomson & Craighead work across video, sound, sculpture, installation and online space, using technology as a means to reformulate fundamental human questions for contemporary times. They have produced artworks that both exercise the dramatic conventions of cinema and examine the changing socio-political structures of the Information Age. In particular they look at how the digital world is ever more closely connected to the physical world, becoming a geographical layer in our collective sensorium. Time is often treated with a sculptor’s mentality, as a pliable quantity that can be moulded and remodelled. Solo shows include Wake me up when it’s over, Young Projects Gallery, Los Angeles (2017); Party Booby Trap, Carroll/Fletcher, London (2016); Maps DNA and Spam, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, UK (2014);  and Not Even the Sky, MEWO Kunsthalle, Memmingen, Germany (2013). Recent group exhibitions include Perpetual Uncertainty, Z33, Hasselt, Belgium (2017); Electronic Superhighway, Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2016); Big Bang Data, Somerset House, London, UK; Art In The Age Of…Asymmetrical Warfare, Witte de With, Rotterdam, Netherlands; How to Construct a Time Machine, MK Gallery, Milton Keynes, UK (all 2015) and the Nam June Paik Award, Haus Lange, Krefeld, Germany (2014).

The Stephen E. Ostrow Distinguished Visitors Program in the Visual Arts was established by a generous 1988 gift from Edward and Sue Cooley and John and Betty Gray in support of art history and its place in the humanities. The lecture program enables Reed College's art department to bring distinguished individuals in the arts to the college for periods of up to a week. These visitors give public lectures and seminars with students.

The intent of the program is to bring to campus creative people who are distinguished in connection with the visual arts and who will provide "a forum for conceptual exploration, challenge, and discovery." The program is named in honor of art historian Dr. Stephen E. Ostrow, as a tribute to his career and out of respect for his advisory role in the formulation of the Cooley-Gray gift and the design of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery. Ostrow is the Emeritus Chief of the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress, Washington, DC. 

Thomson & Craighead’s exhibition, The Academy of Saturn, is on view at the Cooley Gallery from February 2 - April 26, 2018.


Image Credit:
Thomson & Craighead
Untitled (Balloon work), 2016
Video (3:19 min), printed balloons. Dimensions variable. Courtesy the artists. © 2018 Thomson & Craighead.

Wednesday, February 7 at 6:30pm to 8:30pm

Eliot Hall, Chapel

Event Type



Faculty & Staff, Students, Alumni, General Public


Art, Cooley Gallery





Ostrow Distinguished Visitors Program in the Visual Arts

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