PhD research proposal (Abstract)

What I am proposing is an in-depth exploration of the potential of fiction to intervene reality. The project will consist on the manufacture of a set of critical maps and philosophical concepts that will open a new possibility for a practice in the field of media arts: the practice of fiction as mode of deviation.

A fiction is a device trafficking between the plane of the virtual and the actual, allowing for possible futures to drive or, at least interfere, with the present. Fictions have the potential to become enmeshed in flesh, to shape behaviours and experiences, to inform bodies. Understanding the hybrid nature of matter reveals the potential for an intervention. This hybridity refers among other things, to the fact that reality is multilayered and some of these layers are virtual. Acting upon any of the layers has undeniable effects on the whole. The fiction practitioner aims to engineer channels of communication between layers, allow peripheral worlds to poor inside our reality.

There is a double movement in this project: one is a speculative mapping of reality, the other is a deployment of fictions. The speculative mapping aims to shed some light in the tumultuous process of emergence of reality paying close attention to the role of fictions and the way they come to be turned into flesh. This map is then to be used by the practitioner, who now is in a better position to design her tactics.

My point of departure is my master’s dissertation and major project. The context of debate to which I aim to contribute is that of radical futurism as explored in sonic fiction, afrofuturism, or cyberpunk. However, the practice of fiction as a mode of deviation is fuelled by a wider range of practices such as street art, tactical media, urban interventionism or guerrilla communications. From a wider perspective, this study relates to speculative philosophy in so far as it is 1) aimed at locating and subverting power structures, 2) it is an attempt to build a set of critical tools that intend to build reality more than describe it, 3) consider this building of reality as a way of opening up new territories to be explored by the fiction practitioner.

I have experimented with the use of hybrid objects, objects that carry fictions. The idea is that the fiction opens the reality of the object to a world of possibilities and that the person that encounters the object is dragged into this possible world. I have also used radio to deploy sonic hybrids. These experiments however are in their very early stages and require further development.

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  • Contact Me

    olga [AT] ungravitational.net
  • Bio

    Olga carries practical and theoretical research in the field of media arts. She works as a co-editor with Furtherfield.org while she pursues a practice-based PhD at Goldsmiths. Her research project looks into assemblages of sunlight, human bodies and machines. She is particularly interested on subtle modes of communication across bodies of radically different nature. She looks at the ways in which electronic circuits, computational systems, endocrine processes and neurological happenings intermingle. The tools she develops are speculations about the undercurrents of body communication.
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