Associate Professor & Director of Research, Business and Innovation, School of Art and Architecture
Bill Balaskas is an artist, theorist and educator. His works use a playful visual language and a variety of media to reflect on contemporary political issues. Although this interest was catalysed by the global financial crisis of 2008 and his original studies in economics, in recent years, the focus of his practice has partly shifted from economic subjects to their cultural roots, as well as to the existential threats posed by climate change and the revived prospect of nuclear conflict. Balaskas often examines such ideologically charged subjects by drawing connections with the past, exploring how history can function both as an ally and a foe to our perspective. At the same time, an important thematic area in his practice and writings is the socio-political role of new media technologies and digital culture. Through the amalgamation of those themes and interests, Balaskas’s aim is to demystify a globalised-yet-hostile world, in which the truth is contested on an everyday basis. Such contradictions are vividly reflected in the protagonist role of humour and irony in much of his artistic practice – two elements that allow him to interrogate in more depth the increasing spectacularization of the public sphere. Finally, many of Balaskas’s works are characterised by the use of language as a major tool of expression – an interest that he holds both as a writer and a visual communicator who aims to imbue his works with a sense of urgency.