Mike Watson (PhD from Goldsmiths College) is a theorist, critic and curator who is principally focused on the relation between culture, new media and politics.
He was born in the UK in 1979, lived in Rome from 2008 to 2018 and has lived in Finland since 2018.
In Italy he has curated at the Venice Biennale (in 2013 and 2015) and with Nomas Foundation, Fondazione Pastificio Cerere, and the Macro Museum, as well as at Manifesta12 in Palermo in 2018. He also taught at two American Universities in Rome and has guest lectured at the Royal College of Arts, London (2015), and the Estonian Academy of Arts (2021).
In 2018 he relocated from Rome to Finland. He has since curated events with the Oulu2026 bid, The Oulu Music Video Festival and has taught at Oulu University and OAMK.
He is an art critic with an international reputation and has written for Art Review, Artforum, Frieze, Hyperallergic and Radical Philosophy and has curated events at the 55th and 56th Venice Biennale, and Manifesta 12. In 2019 he published his second book Can the Left Learn to Meme?: Adorno, Video Gaming and Stranger Things. In September 2021 his third book, The Memeing of Mark Fisher: How the Frankfurt School Foresaw Capitalist Realism and What to do About it, will come out with Zero Books.
He keeps a Podcast on the YouTube channel, The Acid Left, as well as making regular montage videos on cultural theory, both in collaboration with Adam Ray Adkins. He also co-hosts the podcast Down and Out in the Art World, with Bobby Dowler.