:: Bruce Rimell's Independent Research ::

Research Home     Current Projects     Essay Archive

In addition to being an artist, I am also an independent researcher, the explorations of which often run parallel to and interact with my arts practice. My diverse research interests include: the religious and ritual practices of the Minoan civilisation of Bronze Age Crete; the origins of human symbolic cognition and its implications for twenty-first century epistemology; visionary and religious experiences in light of the cognitive science of religion and evolutionary psychology; the Palaeolithic art of Europe; the emergence of cognitively modern human behaviour and ritual culture in the African Middle Stone Age; queer-themed creative mythologies; ‘spiritual’ and creative practices as beyond-the-self exploration; and the many-faceted symbolic meanings behind the world’s myth systems.

:: Visionary Humanism ::

I am devoting an increasing amount of my time to developing a philosophy of 'Visionary Humanism', which is an attempt to liberate a more holistic image of the human being in the context of symbolic cognition, the collective unreality and subjective meaningfulness of our inner and outer experience, and twenty-first century scientific knowledge. To this end, I have so far completed two books: the first, On Vision and Being Human (Nov 2015), being a general statement on the matter, focusing particularly on the 'otherness' of visionary experience and its foundation upon the evolved human propensity for symbolic thought, and Liminal Contact (Oct 2016), a development and application of Visionary Humanism to the problem of the alleged ‘death’ of painting in art.

On Vision and Being Human Book        Xibalba Books Link        Liminal Contact Book

Three further volumes in this series are planned, the first, A Cognitive Model of Visionary Beings, interrogating the problem of the ubiquitous human experience of wild spirits, genii loci, ‘machine elves’ and visionary beings in light of cognitive psychology and anthropology, the second entitled The Queer and the Visionary, an examination of the multiple intersections of Queer Theory, Postmodernism, Feminism, Cognitive Science and Evolutionary Psychology in the context of sacred, visionary and religious experiences. The series will then conclude with a collection of essays which are intended to constitute a full and detailed statement of Visionary Humanism and its usefulness in building a new kind of bridge between science and spirituality as beyond-the-self exploration.

Research CV

Bruce Rimell is a visual artist, poet and independent researcher, whose work explores the visionary, the mythological, the archaeological and the alchemy of the the cognitive and the ethnographic. His academic background was astrophysics, but his love of ‘origins’ and regular interventions of migraine experiences since childhood led him upon a humanist quest to discover the world’s mythology and the evolution of our species, and the fusion of these elements led to a creative and synthetic approach to thinking about ourselves which forms the bedrock of his research, and indeed his perceptual world. At length, he became an artist upon seeing that the painted image could act as an important vehicle for that approach. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts in the U.K. and is currently developing a philosophy of 'Visionary Humanism'. He lives delightfully in love with his partner Chris in the city of Bradford where the urban sprawl meets the wild moorland.

Watch Bruce's presentation 'On Vision and Being Human'
at Breaking Convention 2015, University of Greenwich, London, July 2015


'On Vision and Being Human' Jul 2015 Breaking Convention 2015, University of Greenwich, London, UK
'The Queer and the Fernal' Jul 2015 PoMoGaze 2015, Leeds, UK
'Musings on a Fernal Language' May 2015 Dreams & Divinities Conference, San Francisco, USA
Artist Talk Feb 2015 Inkwell Arts, Leeds, UK
'Creative Mythology, or Queer Authenticities' July 2014 PoMoGaze, Leeds, UK
'Creative Mythology, or Queer Authenticities' Mar 2014 Dreams & Divinities Conference, San Cristobal, Mexico
The Minoan Epiphany Mar 2013 Dreams & Divintiies Conference, Toledo, Spain


'Liminal Contact' Oct 2016 Second 'Visionary Humanism' publication. Xibalba Books, 200pp.
'On Vision and Being Human' Nov 2015 First 'Visionary Humanism' publication. Xibalba Books, 340pp.
'Eleusis' Aug 2012 Art/Research publication. Xibalba Books, 52pp.
'Notes on the Origins of Art' Nov 2009 Exhibition monograph. Limited Edition, 40pp.



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