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Dr Simon Payne

Associate Professor

Faculty of Arts, Humanities, Education and Social Sciences
Cambridge School of Creative Industries
Areas of Expertise:
Film , Media

Simon is Associate Lecturer in Film and Media and Course Leader of the BA (Hons) Film degree at ARU. He teaches various creative practice and theory modules across our film and media studies courses and supervises PhDs in the School of Creative Industries and School of Art.

Simon is an artist whose digital video works have shown in cinemas, museums and galleries worldwide. His work typically explores systematic and graphic ideas by way of quick cutting, abstract forms and solid colour fields. He has also written widely on experimental cinema and programmes film screenings.

[email protected]


Simon completed his PhD at the Royal College of Art in 2008. His first degree was in Time- Based Media at the Kent Institute of Art and Design, Maidstone. His post-graduate studies were in Electronic Imaging at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design, Dundee.

Simon’s work has been shown at numerous festivals including: Ann Arbor Film Festival; Currents New Media Festival, Santa Fe; Edinburgh Film Festival; European Media Arts Festival, Osnabruck; International Film Festival Rotterdam; London Film Festival; Media City Festival, Windsor, Ontario and the Yebusi International Festival for Art and Alternative Visions, Tokyo. His work has also been presented at Anthology Film Archives, New York; Camden Arts Centre; the Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; Modern Art, Oxford; Tate Britain and Tate Modern, Serpentine Gallery; and the Whitechapel Gallery.

He has written widely on experimental film and video for various publications and journals including Millennium Film Journal, Senses of Cinema, Sight and Sound, and the artist-run magazine Sequence, which he edited between 2011-2016. In 2016 he co-edited Kurt Kren: Structural Films, the first English language book on this seminal avant-garde filmmaker. In 2020 he edited and wrote the foreword to Fields of View: Film, Art and Spectatorship, a posthumous book by the film historian A.L. Rees, published by the BFI/Bloomsbury.

In 2013 Simon was the co-curator of Assembly: A Survey of Recent Artists’ Film and Video Made in Britain, which showcased over 90 artists’ work in a series of 25 programmes over the course of six months at Tate Britain. Since 2014 he has been curating the series Contact, which makes connection across contemporary experimental media arts.

Research interests

  • Experimental cinema
  • Avant-garde arts of the 20th century
  • Practice-based research in film and video


  • PhD (Practice-Based) Materiality and Medium-Specificity: Digital Aesthetics in the Context of Experimental Film and Video, Royal College of Art
  • PgDip Electronic Imaging, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee University
  • BA (Hons) Time-Based Media, Kent Institute of Art and Design, Maidstone

Selected recent publications

Rees, A.L., 2020. Fields of View: Film, Art and Spectatorship. Edited by Simon Payne. London: BFI/Bloomsbury.

Payne, S.R., 2018. Lines and Interruptions in Experimental Film and Video. In Nicky Hamlyn and Vicky Smith (eds.) Experimental and Expanded Animation. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Hamlyn, N., Payne, S.R., and Rees, A.L. (eds.), 2016. The Structural Films of Kurt Kren. Bristol: Intellect

Payne, S.R., 2016. Images on the Threshold: Malcolm Le Grice. Sight and Sound (July)

Payne, S.R., 2016. Negative Light: Contemporary British Experimental Film and Video. Senses of Cinema, issue 78

Payne, S.R., 2014. Framing Forces: Models of Cinema Expressed by Films that Frame Painting. Journal of Contemporary Painting, 1(1).

Payne, S.R., 2012. Smooth Movement/Frenetic Motion/Flicker: Vice Versa Et Cetera. Animation Practice, Process and Production, 1(2).

Payne, S.R., 2010. Edgy Colour: Digital Colour in Experimental Film and Video. In: Inflexions, 4, http://www.inflexions.org/n4_paynehtml.html.

Selected Citations

Elwes, C., 2015. Installation and the Moving Image. Wallflower/Columbia University Press

Rees, A.L., 2013. Physical Optics: A Return to the Repressed. Millennium Film Journal, no.58 35th Anniversary Edition

Small, E.S. and Johnson, T., 2013. Direct Theory: Experimental Motion Pictures as Major Genre, 2nd ed. Carbondale: University of Southern Illinois

Rees, A.L., 2011. A History of Experimental Film and Video. 2nd edition. London: BFI

Ball, S., 2011. Conditions of Music: Contemporary Audio-Visual Spatial Performance Practice Post Expanded Cinema. Expanded Cinema, edited by Duncan White et al., London: Tate

Hamlyn, N., 2003. Film Art Phenomena. London: BFI