Vanessa Graf

HEAD IN THE CLOUD: USING SPECULATIVE FABULATION TO (RE)IMAGINE THE MATERIALITY OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY 

The talk Head in the Cloudexamines speculative fabulation as a method for challenging the prevalent narrative of immateriality surrounding digital technology. Contrary to the rhetoric of the so-called digital revolution, modern technology is still heavily reliant on industrial-age labour, extraction and material processes, impacting the living conditions of humans and non-humans alike. This talk shares insights from my ongoing PhD film project, a fictional documentary centred on an Internet cult in the Alps and their yearly, celebratory procession along a series of wayside Internet shrines. Through the dissolution of the border between fact and fiction, and the translation of the materiality of digital technology into a work of speculation, the film attempts to use artistic methods to craft a counter- or complementary narrative to the immaterial, ethereal Cloud and draws the focus to the impacts and real-life implications of the medium.

Braidotti, R. (2011). Nomadic Subjects: Embodiment and Sexual Difference in Contemporary Feminist Theory, Second Edition. Colombia University Press.

Vanessa Graf
© Niko Zuparic

Vanessa Graf is a doctoral candidate in media ecology at HGK in Basel and Linz. She is also currently completing her BSc in Biology at the University of Salzburg, while working as an author and artist in the meantime, situated at the intersection of (digital) technologies, culture, arts and ecology. She has received several prizes and awards, most recently the advancement award of the 2020 Rauris Literary Days, the advancement award of FLORIANA 2020, the National Parks Austria 2020 media scholarship and the 2020 Fohn scholarship. As of fall 2021, Vanessa Graf is a junior fellow at the IFK Vienna.