James Sey lectured in English, Cultural Studies, Social Science Research Methods and Studies in Popular Music at the University of the Witwatersrand and at Vista University in Soweto from 1989-1998. He attained the post of Senior Lecturer and was awarded an Associate Professorship at the latter institution before resigning to pursue a career in business research, marketing, and online and print publishing.
He spent some years undertaking doctoral research in the history of technology, specifically the human/technology interface. He has published more than 20 research papers in this research area, both locally and internationally, and has presented at major international conferences. He was, for a period of five years, instrumental in a qualitative research methodology group that produced an annual book publication and ran an international conference, and which organised related multimedia events and art exhibitions. He also taught in the Institute for Film and New Media at the University of Cape Town, and at AFDA Film School in Johannesburg.
He has a strong critical and creative involvement in the South African artworld, especially in digital and multimedia. He co-curated the exhibtion Two Icons ‒ The Atom, The Body (2000), with artist Kathryn Smith for the Urban Futures conference (Museum Africa, Johannesburg). He has also conceived and directed several multimedia performances. He ran an online cult film column for the Online Mail and Guardian for two years and has been on the editorial board of an American-based online journal of psychology in the arts, PsyArt. He has been a regular feature and review contributor to Art South Africa since its inception.
Sey, J. 2015. Marikana artwork provides tool for conscientisation, in The Conversation, 4 September. [O]. Available: https://theconversation.com/marikana-artwork-provides-a-tool-for-conscientisation-46375
Sey, J. 2014. Photography in the 21st century: seeing and being, in Wide angle, edited by T Kurgan & T Murinik. Fourthwall Books: forthcoming January 2015.
Sey, J. 2014. Trauma and fragilisation: Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger’s artistic ethics, cultural memory, and post-apartheid South Africa. Image & Text 23:34-44.
Sey, J. 2013. The ginger as outsider, in I collect gingers. Catalogue for I Collect Gingers. Solo exhibition by Anthea Pokroy. Circa Gallery, Johannesburg, 17 January-2 March.
Sey, J. 2013. Robin Rhode – the art of lo-fi, hi-def, Robin Rhode: paries pictus. Catalogue Paries Pictus. Solo exhibition by Robin Rhode. Michael Stevenson, Cape Town, 11 April-1 June.
Sey, J. 2013. Exhibition review: The loom of the land. Art South Africa 11(3):73.
Sey, J. 2013. Exhibition review: Robert Hodgins, Wits Art Museum. Art South Africa 11(4), Winter:68.
Sey, J. 2013. Exhibition review: Mary Wafer, David Krut Projects. Art South Africa 11(4), Winter:70.
Recent papers and conference presentations
Sey, J. 2015. Johannesburg as every city: a boxing story. Paper presented at the Performative Urbanisms conference, University of Johannesburg, Johannesburg, 9-11 September.
Sey, J. 2015. Photographing a form of South African death. Paper presented at Image/Text – the Department of Visual Arts seminar and exhibition, convened by Prof Amanda du Preez and Dr Johan Thom, University of Pretoria, 24 July.