I am a writer, poet, artist and teacher based in London, the editor of The Image of Whiteness (SPBH Editions/Art on the Underground, 2019; 2022) and the author of the forthcoming Photography’s White Racial Frame (Bloomsbury Philosophy).
I work on various forms of the essay, prose and free verse poetry, and have written for magazines and journals including 1000 Words, Aperture, Foam, frieze, the Guardian, Philosophy of Photography, Photography and Culture, Photoworks, Vogue Italia, and contributed chapters to publications from Manchester Art Gallery, UCL Art Museum, Art Museum of Estonia, FOMU Belgium, the Australian Centre for Photography, Routledge and Rowman & Littlefield. I have presented research publicly at institutions including Tate Modern, MoMA PS1, Yale Centre for British Art and Open Eye Gallery Liverpool.
My art practice is informed by long term research projects and includes photogaphy, drawing, text, sound and performance. In this I hope to parody, humourise and critique commonly consumed, sensed or technologised objects usually taken for granted, revealing the strange ways their meanings are bound up in social systems such as racial whiteness, exoticism and bourgeois taste. I have presented work at University of Brighton, Vogue Photo Festival, Frieze London and Tate Britain.
I have taught at the University of Brighton since 2009 and in 2017 took up a permanent post as Lecturer in Photography. As of 2023 I teach across the School of Art and Media as Lecturer in Fine Art and Photography. From 2016-19 I was Visiting Lecturer in Historical and Critical Studies in Fine Art at the Royal College of Art, in 2019 I was a Visiting Scholar at Yale University, and in 2022 I delivered a Carmen Mortensen Endowed Lecture as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Utah. Since 2009 I have worked in various lecturing and tutoring roles at Camberwell College of Arts, Coventry University, Royal Academy of Art The Hague, University of Copenhagen, University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, Photography Studies College Melbourne, King's College London and University of Oxford.
I have experience producing research, exhibitions, events and publications for large public arts institutions, small galleries and project spaces. From 2006-09 I was curator at the Grade I listed Fulham Palace, and from 2012-19 I worked in Education and as Editor at The Photographers’ Gallery, programming talks and events, and commissioning and editing writing both online and in print. From 2013-15 I co-curated Chandelier, a collaborative project space in the studio of artist Karen Knorr. Some of this work has been funded by Arts Council England, The Elephant Trust and Art on the Underground/Mayor of London.
For information about my approach to teaching and scholarly research see my profile at the University of Brighton.
2020 – 2024: PhD, Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy, King’s College London (supervised by Prof. Yasmin Gunaratnam and Dr. Antonia Dawes)
2006 – 2009: MPhil, School of Communications, Royal College of Art, London (supervised by Jon Wozencroft and A.L. Rees)
2003 – 2006: BA(Hons) Sound Arts and Design, London College of Communication, University of the Arts London
2023 – present: Lecturer in Fine Art and Photography, School of Art and Media, University of Brighton
2017 – 2023: Lecturer in Photography, School of Art and Media, University of Brighton
2022-present: Visiting Lecturer, Faculty of Social Science and Public Policy, King’s College London
2022: Visiting Scholar, Department of Art & Art History, University of Utah, USA
2020: Visiting Lecturer, Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, Netherlands.
2020: Visiting Lecturer, University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, Germany.
2019: Visiting Scholar, Yale Centre for British Art/ Ethnicity, Race and Migration Programme, Yale University, New Haven, USA
2018: Visiting Lecturer, Photography Studies College, Melbourne, Australia.
2016 – 2019: Visiting Lecturer, Critical & Historical Studies, School of Fine Art, Royal College of Art, London
2016 – 2019: Content Editor, The Photographers' Gallery, London
2015 – 2016: Visiting Lecturer in Photography, University of Roehampton, London
2015: Visiting Lecturer in Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, London.
2014 – 2016: Visiting Lecturer in Photography, Camberwell College of Art, University of the Arts London
2014 – 2016: Visiting Lecturer in Photography, Coventry University
2013 – 2016: Content Editor, The Photographers’ Gallery, London
2012 – 2013: Assistant Talks Programmer, The Photographers’ Gallery, London
2009 – 2016: Visiting Lecturer in Photography, University of Brighton
2009 – 2012: Curator and Contributing Editor, Hotshoe Gallery and magazine, London
2007 – 2011: Curator, Fulham Palace Gallery, London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham
Photography’s White Racial Frame. London: Bloomsbury Philosophy. Forthcoming.
The Image of Whiteness: Contemporary Photography and Racialization. London: SPBH Editions/London: Art on the Underground. 2019; 2022.
‘Ways of Seeing Whiteness’ in Ducey, K., Feagin, J. and Headley, C. (Eds.) George Yancy: A Critical Introduction. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. 2021.
‘A Cloud to the Back’ in Fredericksen, A., Pearlman, N. & Winter, K. (Eds.) Re-launch. (London: UCL Art Museum) 2015.
‘Cold Children’ in Jesson, K. (Ed.) Pat Flynn: Half-life of a Miracle. (Manchester: Manchester Art Gallery) 2015.
‘Underneath’ in Kuimet, P. (Ed.) Notes on Space. (Tallinn: Art Museum of Estonia/Tallinn: Lugemik) 2013.
‘TV Casualty’ in Feuerhelm, B. (Ed.) TV Casualty. (London: AMC Books) 2013.
‘Love can be rude too’ in Foam: M/otherlands, (Amsterdam: Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam) 2022.
Blight, D. C. and Jiang, Y., ‘Possible Traces of Whiteness’ in Photography and Culture, vol. 15: 1. London: Taylor & Francis, 2022.
‘Images of whiteness: Can we imagine a world without white eyes?’ in The Guardian. (New York: Guardian Media) [online] 2019.
‘How do white people see?’ in Vogue Italia. (Milan: Condé Nast International) [online] 2019.
‘Perfect White Family’ in Buck Ellison: Tender Option. (London: The Sunday Painter) exhibition catalogue essay [online] 2018.
‘Of Water and Triangles’ in 1000 Words ten-year anniversary print edition. (London: 1000 Words Ltd.) 2018.
‘KOUD, SAAI, BLEEK: Het beeld van blankheid’ (Cold, Dull, Ashen: The Image of Whiteness), EXTRA. (Antwerp: Foto Museum Antwerp) 2018.
‘White Gaze: Michelle Dizon and Viêt Lê’ in 1000 Words. (London: 100 Words Ltd.) [online] 2018.
‘Be it in light or shadow: Photography and the Essay’ in Viewpoints. (London: The Photographers' Gallery) [online] 2018.
‘Claimed Memories of Previous Lives’ in Foam. (Amsterdam: Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam) 2017.
‘Path to Clouds’, in Periodo Ipotetico. (Milan: T14 Contemporary) 2017.
‘Incoming: Photography and Whiteness’ in American Suburb X. (California: American Suburb X LLC) [online] 2017.
‘Talking to Myself About Death: Edgar Martins' Siloquies and Soliloquies on Death, Life and Other Interludes’ in 1000 Words.(London: 100 Words Ltd.) [online] 2017.
‘The Time of Prison Writing: Amy Elkins' Black is the Day Black is the Night’ in 1000 Words.(London: 100 Words Ltd.) [online] 2017.
‘Louise Parker: Pieces of Me’ in Foam. (Amsterdam: Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam) 2016.
‘Maxime Guyon: Technological Exaptation’ in Foam. (Amsterdam: Foam Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam) 2016.
Blight, D. C. and Johannesson, A., ‘Photography and the Fanatical Gaze in Åsa Johannesson’s Belonging’ in Philosophy of Photography, vol. 3: 1. London: Intellect Books, 2012.
Exhibitions and Performances
Visual Literacy: A Critical Library. Curated by Rica Cerberano, 17 – 20 Oct 2022, Photo Vogue Festival, BASE Milano, Italy.
Telling Pictures: Holly Birtles, Kamal Badhey, Daniel C. Blight, Zoe Childerly, Mathhew Cornford & John Beck, Jasper Goodall, Fergus Heron, Åsa Johannesson, Mark Joste, Rachel Maloney, James William Murray, Annebella Pollen, Xavier Ribas, Epha Roe, Martin Seeds, Kirsty Thomas. Curated by Fergus Heron and Francis Hodgson, 27 Sept – 15 Oct 2022, Edward Street Galleries, University of Brighton, UK.
The Lemon /How do white people see?, 14th Oct 2022, Frieze Art Fair (at the invitation of Abbas Zahedi, Frieze Artist Award recipient) London.
Unknown Devices (laptop orchestra conducted by David Toop), 4th May 2007, Tate Britain.
Visiting Scholar/ Carmen Mortensen Endowed Lecture, 6th & 7th April, Department of Art & Art History, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, USA.
The Image of Whiteness, Centre for Public Policy Research, King’s College London, lunchtime seminar, 24th March.
Contemporary Photography and Whiteness, Self Publish, Be Happy Education, online lecture.
The Image of Whiteness, Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, London, UK. (Postponed due to COVID-19).
Open Rooms #8: Photography and Racialisation, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, UK (with Ali Eisa and Yasmin Gunaratnam).
The Image of Whiteness, Royal Academy of Art, The Hague, NL.
The Image of Whiteness, University of Fine Arts of Hamburg, GER.
Photography and Racialisation, Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool, UK (with Yasmin Gunaratnam and Ali Eisa).
The Image of Whiteness, Photo Vogue Festival, Milan, IT (with Ekow Eshun and Chiara Bardelli Nonino).
The Image of Whiteness, University Centre Farnborough, UK.
The Image of Whiteness, MoMA PS1, New York, USA (with David Birkin, Sutapa Biswas, Claudia Rankine and Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa).
The Image of Whiteness, Yale Centre for British Art in collaboration with the Ethnicity, Race and Migration programme, Yale University, New Haven, USA (with Claudia Rankine and Leah Mirakhor).
The Image of Whiteness, Royal College of Art, UK.
The Image of Whiteness, Photography Studies College, Melbourne, AUS.
‘White Whirlwind: From Racial Equivalence to Anti-whiteness,’ introduction to the symposium What Should White Culture Do? Commissioned by Art on the Underground and hosted by the Royal College of Art, UK.
‘Squid-Eye Thinking,’ Does Photography Need Theory?, pic.london festival and symposium, Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, UK.
‘Photography, Death and Reincarnation,’ Photo Oxford symposium, Weston Library, Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford, UK.