Silke has received her MFA with distinction in film from the University of the Fine Arts in Hamburg, and her PhD from the Film Studies department of the University of Kent at Canterbury. She has been teaching at the University for the Creative Arts since 2006 and used to teach at Chelsea College of Art and Design, UAL.
Silke explores moving images in their human and other-than-human environments in relation to nature, ecology, animals, plants, art, film, television. Her research is transdisciplinary and engaged across continental philosophy, critical ecologies, art theory, film theory, affect theory, realisms, and materialisms. The works she discusses often have a documentary aspect to them, be these as moving images in the gallery or on television and streamed. It is the relations between art and other-than-human and human life that interest her, and why she finds documentary the most enriching in potentially being able to make these connections. While she used to be ore focussed on specific works, such as those of the experimental documentary filmmaker James Benning, her perspective has broadened in recent years to place artists and images in their wider ecological, ethical, affective, socio-cultural, and political Umwelten. For example, she considers violence and extinction to articulate the limits of relational, and to a degree also non-relational, flat ontologies in her recent essay ‘There are no Extinctions in Relations without Bodies: On the Violence of Flat Relational Ontologies‘ (2023). Silke has edited the forthcoming collection Ethical Materialities in Art and Moving Images (2024) which explores ways in which the ethical and the material come together in art and life practice and has previously edited A Critique of Judgment in Film and Television (2014). She is currently working on two monographs, one on bodies of moving images, and one on innocence.
- There are no Extinctions in Relations without Bodies: On the Violence of Flat Relational Ontologies
- Der Krieg in der Black Box des Friedens: Der Tag des Spatzen mit einem Ausflug in die politische Ökologie
- The Harvest: Of Cows, Cryptocurrencies, and Machines in Images
- For a Creative Theory of Documentary in the Anthropocene (And: For all the Crossings, where is the Transdisciplinarity?)
- Men in Huts in Woods: Independence, Transcendentalism and Technology in James Benning’s Thoreau and Kaczynski Documentaries and Exhibition
- Ten Skies, 13 Lakes, 15 Pools: Structure, Immanence and Eco-aesthetics in The Swimmer and James Benning’s Land Films
- Land as Protagonist. An Interview with James Benning
- Introduction to Work
- The Work of the Documentary Protagonist: The Material Labor of Aesthetics
- Judgment between Ethics and Aesthetics: An Introduction
- The Judging Spectator in the Image
- Collective Subjectivity in The Children of Golzow Alienation in Western Interview Documentary
- “The Bullets confirm the Story told by the Potato”: Materials without Motives in CSI: Crime Scene Investigation
- The Filmmaker as Rückenfigur, Documentary as Painting: Alexandr Sokurov in Elegy of a Voyage
- What Drawings Can Do That Films Can’t
- Continental Philosophy (e.g. Spinoza, Deleuze, Uexküll)
- Ecological Aesthetics
- Ethical Entanglements
- Human and Non-Human Agency
- Relations and Non-Relations
- Independence and Authenticity
- Film Theory
- Art Theory
Current UCA PhD students:
- Fiona MacDonald
- Graham Seaton
- Chantal Riekel
- Reviewer for the Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellowship, the American University in Berlin, and Aalto University
- Peer-reviewer the publishers Bloomsbury Academic and Wallflower Press and for the journals Deleuze Studies, Journal for Visual Culture, Screen Comparative Cinema, Papers on Language and Literature (special issue on avant-garde and experimental film and video), Screen, Cinema: Journal of Philosophy and the Moving Image, Debates in Aesthetics (British Society of Aesthetics); Journal for Media Practice, Global Discourse.
- Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
- Member of the Society of Authors.
- MA Contemporary Art Theory, MRes Visual Cultures and MRes Advanced Practices, Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths, University of London (2023 - ongoing)
- BA Filmmaking, Kingston University (2013-2017)
- MA Screen Documentary, Goldsmiths College, University of London (2012-2016)
- Opponent at a practice-based Fine Art PhD defence at the Valand Academy, Gothenburg University (2015)
- External and internal funding for the symposium Ethics, Art and Moving Images (2016) from the Centre for Critical Thought and the Kent Law School at the University of Kent and the University for the Creative Arts.
- Funding from the Arts and Humanities Research Council as the co-investigator of the Screening Nature Network (2013-14) forsymposia and screenings that took place at the Whitechapel Gallery, the Tate Modern, the Horse Hospital, the Goethe-Institut and Queen Mary University in London.
- British Academy funding for the symposium and retrospective Werner Herzog’s Cinema between the Visionary and the Documentary (2005) at the Goethe-Institut and Institut Francais in London.