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Edward McKeon

Music, Birmingham City University

Thesis title:

Live music curation as emerging discipline of aesthetics and musicology

My research reconstructs the conditions for the emergence of curating as a discrete profession from the 1960s, and the contradictions and crises that ensue with Relational Aesthetics, New Institutionalism, the institutionalisation of Institutional Critique, and the proposition of ‘the curatorial’ as a philosophical model of practice. In parallel, I explore the construction of Performance Art and Sound Art as ‘visual’ or gallery practices, and the curatorial possibilities offered by ‘musicality’ – music in its post-medium condition – elaborated through the work and writing of John Cage, and in situated reflections on the Ruhrtriennale (2012-14), Kunsthalle for Music, and on documenta14.

Research Area

  • Music


In Media Res: Heiner Goebbels, Aesthetics of Absence: Texts on Theatre, Third Text (2016) - http://www.thirdtext.org/In-Media-Res

Listening With-Towards in the Gallery, in Joseph Kohlmaier and Sam Belinfante (eds.), The Listening Reader, London: Cours de Po├ętique, 2016.

Read Aloud at 4am, Riffs 1/1 (2017) - http://riffsjournal.org/issues/volume-1-issue-1-feb-2017/read-aloud-at-4am-ed-mckeon-birmingham-city-university-phd/

The Concept Album as Curatorial 'Medium': Colin Riley's In PlaceTEMPO, forthcoming (2021).

Public Engagement & Impact

"Must the Arts Be Relevant?" Panel discussion produced for Free Thinking, BBC Radio 3, 9 Dec 2015

"Listening to others listening in the gallery", Sheffield Hallam University, as part of a one-day symposium linked to Listening, the Hayward touring exhibition, June 2016

"Listening after Oliveros", performance lecture with IONE at documenta14, Athens, 13 July 2017

"The Curator as a Visual Construct", Middlesex University, 13 November 2018

"Blindspots: Curating and Musicality", Columbia University, 8 November 2019

Other Research Interests

Curatorial studies


Post-Critical Philosophy

Post-medium and 'postconceptual' art practice



Editorial Committee of Riffs

Trustee, the Hinrichsen Foundation

Vice Chair, British Section, the International Society for Contemporary Music