Frieda Gerhardt

BA Honours Film (2019), Bournemouth University| Master of Letters Film Studies (2020), University of St Andrews |

Frieda ‘Free’ Gerhardt (they/them/she/her) is a trained graphic designer and photographer, a visual artist and experimental documentary filmmaker. Their research interests circle all things sensory, from practical filmmaking to early film-philosophy, especially in its attention to the power of the medium to render things hitherto unseen visible. This closely relates also to Free’s interest in the earliest experiments with film in the natural sciences, as seen in their MLitt Dissertation: “Through the Sensory Lens: [Early] Popular Science Film and the Microscopic Universe”.

Now a first year Practice-as-Research PhD student in Art, Technology and Health, Free’s project (provisionally) entitled “Experienceable Neurodiversity: or Film’s potential to render diverse experiences of sensory perception“, is supervised by Professor Michael Punt and Dr Heidi Morstang.

The project involves the rendering of Neurodiverse experiences of sensory perception through experimental filmmaking practices.The term Neurodiversity is defined here as the idea that people experience and interact with the world around them in many different ways, without there being one right way of thinking, learning, or behaving. This, above all, means that any variations from a notional norm are not viewed as deficits. Being a Practice-as-Research PhD, the project employs a multimethod research methodology, consisting of a process of practical film production set unto a firm theoretical (philosophical) framework which is established through a bibliographical research of the relevant literature.

Free with late dog Fenniki (Scotland, 2022).