Les Joynes

PhD (Leeds); MA (Goldsmiths); MA (Tokyo); M.Sc (Boston); MBA (California); Post-Doc (Brazil)

Visiting Scholar in Visual Culture and Art History, Columbia University, New York

Visiting Professor, Contemporary Art and Art History, Renmin University, Beijing

Fulbright-Hays US Public Diplomacy Award Mongolia and China

US ZERO1 Art and Technology Artist

Dr. Les Joynes is a multi-media artist, educator and scholar on contemporary art education. On the Columbia Visiting Scholar and Scientist Program he examines zones of spectacle in museums and advanced curriculum design for university art programs. 

Qualifications: Les is specialized in cross-disciplinary practices and critical inquiry. In addition to multi-media installation, he is experienced in printmaking, emerging media, drawing, photography, sculpture, painting, concrete poetry, curating, exhibition management, and art criticism. Also trained in consulting, advertising and higher education curricula design he has advised universities and Fortune 100 multinationals on global strategy. He has been teaching since 1999 and is Professor of Record for Site-Specific Art and Art History at Renmin University, Beijing and fosters experiential learning to build long-range skills in problem solving, methodologies, and abstract thinking to apply across multiple careers. He also teaches entrepreneurship, project management and design thinking in Cultural Industries for the creation of new art centers, museums, residency programs and degree programs. 


Les is educated in the US, UK and Japan. He completed his BA (cum laude) in History from Boston University; M.Sc from Boston University and the Vrije Universiteit Brussels Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences; and MBA from California State University. In London he completed his BA (Hons) Fine Art at Central Saint Martins College of Art, University of the Arts London; MA Fine Art, Goldsmiths, University of London; Masters in Fine Art, Musashino Art University, Tokyo; PhD from Leeds Metropolitan University's School of Contemporary Art and Graphic Design, Faculty of Art, Environment and Technology in the UK and Post-Doctorate in Art and Performance, School of Communications and Arts, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. 

A ZERO1: US Art and Technology Artist he is founder of FormLAB, a multi-media art series that exhibits in museums. At Teachers College, Columbia University he has developed new curricula designs for practice-led research and the art school of the 21st Century. He has published in Art in America, Flash Art, Springer and recently to four books: Going Beyond: Art as Adventure, (Cambridge Scholars, UK, 2017); ProjectAnywhere V.1 (Parsons New School, New York, 2016); Draw at Inside Out Art Museum, Beijing (Catalogue, Inside Out Art Museum, Leroy Neiman Foundation, New York, 2016) and contributes an upcoming book on the future models of contemporary art teaching (Critical Practices, New York). He is member of the Editorial Board for ProjectAnywhere at University of Melbourne and Parsons School of Art. New School, New York. 

Les has lectured at Cambridge University; University of California; University of Coventry, UK; University of Lincoln, UK; Nanyang Academy of Art; La Salle College of Art, Singapore; National University for Education, Mongolia; Mongolian State University for Art and Culture; and Otis College of Art, Los Angeles. As Fellow at the Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN), he led the doctoral Masterclass: “Models for Cross-cultural Artistic Research” at Chelsea College of Art, University of the Arts London. He was a curatorial assistant for the Inaugural Taipei Biennial “Site of Desire” exhibition in 1998 and was Lead Curator for Networking, an international art exhibition in Japan that showcased work from one hundred visual artists from the UK, Europe and Asia as part of the UK-Japan Cultural Year in Tokyo. He has produced artistic research museum exhibitions in China, Mongolia, Brazil and France.

Above: Les working with Mongolian contemporary artists and performers at Zanabazar National Museum, Mongolia (2014)

Academic Focus

‍    Site-specific and Interdisciplinary art.

‍    New Media art and Performance

‍    Western Modern and Contemporary Art History

‍    Cross cultural programming and integration in creative industries

‍    Trans-regional and global art practices and geographically dispersed art networks

‍    Curriculum Design for Art Programs in the 21st Century (MFA, PhD, Post-Doctorate) 

Fellowships, Awards and Honors

‍    US Department of State American Arts Incubator, Art and Technology Network (2019)

‍    CEC ArtsLink Foundation New York (Russia, 2017)

‍    The University of the Arts London Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation, UK (2015)

‍    Renmin University of China Merit Award for Teaching, Beijing, China (2017)

‍    Mission China Cultural Grant, Fulbright Hays US Public Diplomacy Award, China (2017)

‍    Taiwan Ministry of Education Huayu Scholar National Cheng Kung University (2016) 

‍    Research Fellow at the American Center for Mongolian Studies (2016)

‍    Wheatley Fellow in Fine Art, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, UK

‍    Fulbright Hays US Public Diplomacy Award, Mongolia (2014)

‍    CEC ArtsLink Foundation Grant New York, Mongolia (2014)

‍    Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado Foundation, São Paulo, Brazil (2013)

‍    Professional Development Grant, Harlem Arts Alliance, New York (2010)

‍    The Nordic Artists Center, Norway (2008)

‍    Edwin Austin Abbey Fellowship, National Academy Museum, New York (2009)

‍    Queenstown Council, Singapore Citation Award, Singapore (2009) 

‍    Bauhaus Foundation Fellowship, Germany (2009)

‍    The Nordic Artists Center/ Nordisk Kunstnarsenter Dalsasen Artist Fellowship, Norway (2007)

‍    Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Science and Technology Scholarship (1997-2001)

‍    Erasmus Scholarship, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-arts, Paris (1995)

‍    King Sturge Award for Sculpture, London (1995).

Above, Les lecturing on interdisciplinary art to the PhD program, School of Art, Peking University, 2018 © Peking Univ.

Professional Experience, University Appointments and Research

‍    Founder and Director, FormLAB - nomadic experimental laboratory in museums (1999-present)

‍    Core Member, CPI Institute for Cultural Ecology, New York (2016-present) 

‍    Visiting Professor in Art and Cultural Industries, Peking University, China (2018) 

‍    Assistant Professor, Summer Program, Renmin University, Beijing, China (2013-present)

‍    Scholar in Visual Cultures, Department of Art History, Columbia University (2018-present)

‍    Scholar in Art in Higher Education, Teachers College, Columbia University (2016-2018)

‍    Research Fellow in Transnational Art and Identity, University of the Arts London (2015)

‍    Scholar of Phenomenology, Department of Philosophy, Columbia University (2010-2011)

‍    Scholar in Contemporary Art, School of Arts, Columbia University (2008-2010)

‍    BA Fine Art Tutor, Musashino Art University, Tokyo, Japan (1999-2001)    

Workshops and Lectures on Art and Social Practice

‍    US Department of State American Arts Incubator (upcoming)

‍    Art and Social Practice (chair) ProjectAnywhere Conference, Parsons School of Art (2018) 

‍    US-China experimentation at Site,  Columbia University Global Center Beijing, (2017)

‍    Co-Author, Museum 2050, Long Museum, Shanghai, China (2018)

‍    FormLAB China, Inside-Out Art Museum, Beijing, China (2017)

‍    Pulse/ Play, Pulse Art Fair and The Cultivist, New York (2016)

‍    Co-Chair Young Researchers Forum, (American Center for Mongolian Studies) Mongolia (2016)

‍    The Artist as Explorer, College Arts Association Conference (2016)                

‍    Cambridge University, Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (2015)

‍    Artist as interface, Columbia University Teachers College (2015) 

‍    Cambridge University Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (2015)

‍    Mongolian National University of Education, (2015)

‍    Mongolian National University for Art and Culture, Ulaanbaatar (2015)

‍    Masterclass Leader: Transdisciplinary Art, University of the Arts London (2015)

‍    FormLAB Mongolia, Zanabazar National Museum of Art, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia (2014)        

‍    National Art Museum of China , Beijing, China (2014)

‍    College Arts Association Conference, Chicago (2014) 

‍    US Embassy, Mongolia (presentation (2014)     

‍    Participating artist, Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics, Brazil, (2013)

‍    FormLAB Brazil, Brazilian Museum of Sculpture, , Sao Paulo, Brazil (2012) 

‍    FormLAB, Seoul Foundation for Arts and Culture, Seoul, South Korea (2012) 

‍    Columbia University Eugene Lang Center for Entrepreneurship (2011)

‍    FormLAB France, Treignac-Project, France (2010)             

‍    FormLAB/ Bauhaus, Singapore, National University of Singapore and LaSalle College of Art (2009)

‍    University of California Santa Barbara (2005, 2006)

‍    Contemporary archeology and the artist, Kookmin University, Seoul (2012)

‍    Lasalle College of Art, Singapore and National University of Singapore (2009)

‍    Curatorial Assistant for “Site of Desire,” Inaugural Taipei Biennial, Taipei, Taiwan (1998)

Curricula and Syllabi in Development

‍    Emerging the New Art School in Tactical Programs that interface the artist [curriculum] 

‍    Models for Developing a Contemporary Program and School in Central Asia [curriculum] 

‍    Evolving Boundaries: Environmental Art from the 1960s to present [syllabus] 

‍    Engaged Critique in Contemporary art: expanded concepts of installation [tutorial/critique]

‍    Supervision and mentorship on MFA and PhD programs in Fine Art [workshop and seminar].

‍    Border Strategies and the New Global: Contemporary art referencing border, identity 

‍    and the new territorialization of public spaces [workshop and panel]

‍    Doctoral Supervision in practice-based research [syllabus]

‍    Searching for alternatives to the Modern, Contemporary and the 

‍    Post-Post Modern: Relocating creative practice. [syllabus] 

‍    Engaging the contemporary artist with professional practices for long term 

‍    critical development [workshop and panel] 

‍    Chinese contemporary art: Parallel critical developments between the East and West 

‍    from Modernism to Contemporary [syllabus] 

‍    Parallels in performance art between the United States and Japan 1960-present [syllabus] 

Selected Publications


‍    Joynes, L (2019) “FormLAB: Interfacing Technology with Site” (2019) ISEA International         

‍    Symposium of Electronic Art, Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, Korea

‍    Joynes, L. (2019) “The Artist-centric model in museums” in Looking to New Institutional Models:         

‍    China’s Cultural Landscape by Mid-Century, Ching, N and Tanner, L, (eds), 

‍    Long Museum, Shanghai

‍    Joynes, L Vu, T et al (2018). DrawnOver: Contemporary Drawing, Vojvodina, 

‍    Serbia: Museum of Contemporary Art [catalogue].

‍    Joynes, L. (2018). “The Artist as Explorer,” in Going Beyond: Art as Adventure. 

‍    O’Neill , R and Werner, J (eds.), Newcastle, UK: Cambridge Scholars. [peer-reviewed]


‍    Joynes, L (2015). “FormLAB” in Anywhere v.1.(2015). Lowry, S. and Douglas, S. (eds.),

‍    Melbourne, Australia: University of Melbourne and New York: Parsons School of Art, 

‍    Media and Technology, Parsons, New School for Design, New York. [peer-reviewed]

‍    Joynes, L. (2016). “The Artist Explorer: FormLaboratory: Geographically Dispersed Performance 

‍    in Brazil (2012-2013) and Mongolia (2014)” Sao Paulo, Brazil: Escola de Comunicações 

‍    e Artes, Universidade de São Paulo [post-doctoral thesis].


‍    Joynes, L. (2015). “Arts research, Global Identity and Cooperation,” London: Research 

‍    Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation (TrAIN), University of the Arts, London.


‍    Joynes, L (2015). “Shapeshifter” [video], Pulse/Play, Pulse Art Fair and The Cultivist, New York.


‍    Joynes, L. (2015) “US-Mongolian collaborative arts research in Mongolia,” The Young 

‍    Researcher’s Forum, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia: Mongolian National University of Education.


‍    Joynes, L. “The Artist as Explorer,” (2015) Washington D.C.: College Arts Association Conference.


‍    Joynes, L and Vu, T. (2015) Les joynes and Thomas Vu in Interview” in Draw: Artists from China at 

‍    Inside Out Art Museum, New York: LeRoy Neiman Foundation [catalogue].


‍    Joynes, L. (2014). 2014. “Nomadic and Geographically Dispersed Practice,” Chicago: 

‍    College Arts Association Conference.    


‍    Joynes, L (2014). “FormLaboratory” in Art and Research at the Outermost Limits of Site 

‍    Specificity (2014) Lowry, S and Douglas, S. (eds.). Newcastle, Australia: Univ. of Newcastle.

‍     [peer-reviewed]


‍    Joynes, L. and Basu, S (2011). 2011 “The Invisible and the Transvisible in contemporary 

‍    art in Singapore,” in Octopus, Journal for Visual Culture. Irvine: University of California Irvine.

‍    Joynes (2008)" Multi-spatial Performance: at Bauhaus-Dessau, November 2008: 

‍    record dances, Bühnenstudios der Stiftung Bauhaus Dessau [Internet]. 



‍    Joynes, L (2001) “Yuichi Higashionna at NADIF Tokyo,” Milan:   Flash Art.


‍    Joynes, L. (1999).  “Some Say They Did: Some Say They Didn’t, Contemporary Art of Yoshitomo 

‍    Nara at Ginza Art Space,” New York: Art in America.


‍    Joynes, L. (1998).“The New Pathetic. Contemporary British art in the 1990s,”Vienna: Springer.


‍    Joynes, L (1998). “Explorations of the Uncanny in Contemporary American Art: Paul McCarthy, 

‍    Mike Kelly and  David Lynch.”London: Goldsmiths, University of London.[Dissertation].


Works in progress

‍    Joynes, L et al (2019). Emerging models for teaching, evaluation and curriculum 

‍    development, New York: Critical Practices. 


‍    Joynes, L (2019). “Arts in Higher Education in Mongolia,” Philadelphia: 

‍    American Center for Mongolian Studies.


‍    Post-Doctorate (2017)

‍    Escola de Comunicações e Artes, Universidade de São Paulo/ University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

‍    Research on indigenous ritual and performative art (2015-2017)

‍    Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) (2012)

‍    Leeds Metropolitan University, UK (2008-2012)

‍    Visiting Scholar in the School of Art and the Department of Philosophy on the 

‍    Visiting Scholar and Scientist Program at Columbia University.

‍    Masters in Fine Art (2001)

‍    Research Scholar in Fine Art (1998-1999)

‍    Musashino Art University, Tokyo, Japan

‍    Three year Master of Arts program with specialization in Sculpture and Asian contemporary art.

‍    Japan Ministry of Education and Culture Scholar.

‍    Master of Art in Fine Art (MA)  (1997)

‍    Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK.

‍    Bachelor of Art (Honours) in Fine Art (1996)

‍    Central Saint Martins College of Art, University of the Arts London, UK.

‍    Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) in History (BA) (1986)

‍    Boston University, Boston, MA.

‍    College of Liberal Arts

‍    Phi Alpha Theta Honor Society in History

Additional Education

‍    New York University (2019) 

‍    Diploma in Leadership Coaching

‍    Specialization in Coaching to Creative and Cultural Industries

‍    Training in Arts Workshop Design and Facilitation (2019)

‍    ZERO1, Arts Incubator, San Francisco.

‍    Research in Arts Education and Advanced Curriculum Design (2017)

‍    Teachers College, Columbia University, New York

‍    Training in Teaching Methodologies (2012-2018)

‍    Center for Teaching and Learning, Columbia University, New York


‍    Research in Arts and Entrepreneurship (2011)

‍    Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York


‍    Masters in Business Administration (MBA) (1989)

‍    California Polytechnic State University (CalPoly), San Luis Obispo, CA

‍    Specialization in transnational strategy and technology transfer 

‍    Published graduate research on technology transfer. 

‍    Master of Science in Management (MSc) (1987)

‍    Boston University and Vrije Universiteit Brussel

‍    VUB Faculty of Economic and Social Sciences

‍    Specialization in International Management Strategy.


‍    ISEA International Symposium of Electronic Art, Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, Korea

‍    Session-Chair, ProjectAnywhere Conference, Parson School of Art, New School, New York. (2018) 

‍    Plenary Keynote Speaker on PhD research, School of Art, Peking UNiversity, Beijing (2018) 

‍    Artist-centric practices within the museum, Museum2050, Long Museum, Shanghai (2018)

‍    Co-Chair, Young Researcher Conference, Mongolia (2016)

‍    International Committee, College Art Association conference (2015-present)

‍    Japan Startup NYC, Microsoft, New York (2016)

‍    Presidents Forum on Higher Education, Teachers College, Columbia University, New York (2016)

‍    Keynote Speaker, Young Researcher Conference Mongolia, 

‍    National University of Education and the American Center for Mongolian Studies (2015)

‍    Royal Geographical Society Conference, London (2013)

‍    Editorial Committee, ProjectAnywhere Conference, Parsons/ New School, New York (2015)

‍    Panelist, Artists’ Workspaces: Portability, Contingency, Virtuality, 

‍    College Art Association conference, Chicago (2014)

‍    Panelist Going Beyond: Art as Adventure (CAA, Washington, DC) (2018) 

‍    European League of Institutes in the Arts (ELIA) conferences, Seoul (2012) and Vienna (2013).


In the news

‍    Museum, 2050, Long Museum, Shanghai, 2018

‍    Columbia University Global Center China, 2017


‍    American Center for Mongolian Studies, Mongolia, 2016

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