Study Statement 2.0

Metamodern Alienation


I am interested in how we conceptualise ourselves as existing in two different worlds – one physical and one non-physical. In the early 1990s, during the Cyber Utopia era, we believed that this “bodiless exaltation” in “Cyberspace” (Gibson, 1994, p6) would provide us with a heaven-like space (Wertheim, 2000) where we could be free from the oppression of our physical selves. Like all Utopian visions, however, the pursuit of purity within the digital realm has come crashing down around us.

We do not know who we are, we do not know where we belong. We fool ourselves still that there is a Utopia for us somewhere, even if we know a Utopia isn’t possible.

AIM 1 Research ideas about immersion, fantasy/reality, real/unreal, alienation, screens, metamodernism in philosophy, critical theory, screen studies, cultural theory, film, literature, web culture.

Objective – Identify relevant texts and films that explore idea of the real/unreal.
Objective – Understand others’ ideas about travelling between the real/unreal.
Objective – Find and collect examples of individuals living within the divide between worlds

AIM 2 Make short films that explore, capture and define the digital/analogue divide and our changing understanding of what it means to ‘be human’ while existing in both physical and non-physical worlds. Work towards a longer final film.

Objective – Experiment with in-camera video techniques to visualise space between the digital and real worlds
Objective – Consider whether the film needs narrative, if so write it.
Objective– Film and edit short films

AIM 3 Write an essay (?) that sets out the theory, history, context of this space.
Objective – Build on my knowledge and understanding of this space and metamodern methods and theory.
Objective – Visually study films that explore the divide between real and ‘unreal’ worlds.
Objective– Decide how ‘experimental’ the writing will be
Objective – Decide how/where the work will be published.


Timotheus Vermeulen and Robin van den Akker’s work on Metamodernism (Vermeulen and van den Akker, 2010) is important and always on my mind. Greg Dember and Linda Ceriello’s work at What Is Metamodern (Dember and Ceriello, 2022) is also a great guiding light.

Laurie Anderson’s storytelling is important to me.


I am trying to formulate my ideas into a cohesive narrative. I have too much to say. Every day I think of focussing on a different aspect of what I’m looking at. Sometimes I think I want to tell a big ‘story’, sometimes a very small one. No matter what, I want to make people think…

Theory – adding to my bibliography- books, journals/websites/web videos/etc and my updated bibliography that have been useful and informative, even if it’s just one sentence or one bit of information.

Collecting films – adding to my film bibliography

Research – I have been watching and reading about filmmakers who use experimental, in-camera or physical techniques (rather than digital effects).

Experimenting– Based on the work of experimental filmmakers such as Peter Tscherkassky, Douglas Trumbull, John Whitney and Vicky Smith -the final three can be seen at Handmade Cinema (Zinman, 2022) , I have been thinking up different techniques and trying them out. The filmmakers I mentioned worked with film. I necessarily want to work with digital video, but use in-camera techniques.

Organising– I have been trying to collect links on my blog – things I’ve read/watched, as well as things to read/watch. They will remain on my links page unless there is something I take out of them as a reference. Adding links to my blog doesn’t work well, however, if I’m on my phone or, for whatever reason, I am unable to log into my blog. I therefore haven’t always been successful at saving links on my blog. Instead, I have either bookmarked places on my browsers or have emailed them to myself. This is simply too disorganised to be useful. I’ve downloaded two different bookmarking apps that were recommended by a friend: MyMind and I am hoping that these help with the organisation of online resources.

I’d like to make an experimental film about the real/digital divide and how we conceptualise ourselves. I tend to think my films are the work themselves, so – at this point – do not expect to want to include the film as part of an installation. I may change my mind about this.

I am thinking of also doing a book alongside the film which would include writing and images about the infrathin. I have not yet thought about whether or not this will be handmade or printed and how many copies I might produce…


Term 1
Start up my blog, use it to ‘collect’ information, images, reflective writing.
Read relevant books/texts/journals
Watch relevant films
Experiment with video techniques specifically using a computer and iPhone.

Term 2
Continue experimenting with techniques
Start writing short pieces- mini ‘essays’- to organise thoughts
Start to think of ‘the story’ I want to tell
Produce a short film (1-2 minutes) for the Interim Show.

Term 3
Continue writing short pieces to organise thoughts
Start to organise short pieces into a longer ‘thesis’
Continue experimenting with techniques – honing down ideas, what works, what doesn’t.
Decide on the ‘story’ to tell…

Reassess everything I have been doing before planning my final year. Decide what is working and what isn’t.

Term 4
Write final piece
Decide what form this will take – a book? Will it be handmade or printed?
Start planning final film.

Term 5
Complete writing
Start filming elements for final film
Edit sequences
Start working on audio

Term 6
Edit film
Finish audio


Websites/Journals/Web videos/Etc


Dember, G. and Ceriello, L., 2022. [online] What Is Metamodern?. Available at: [Accessed 13 February 2022].

Index Edition, 2019. Peter Tscherkassky – Outer Space. Available at: [Accessed 13 February 2022].

Joseph, M., 2015. MoMA | Collecting Alvin Lucier’s I Am Sitting in a Room. [online] Available at: [Accessed 13 February 2022].

LaRocca (ed.), D., 2011. The Philosophy of Charlie Kaufman. [Kindle] Lexington, Kentucky: The University Press of Kentucky.

Loewen, R. (2019). INFRATHIN Project — Rebecca Loewen. [online] Rebecca Loewen. Available at: [Accessed 3 Feb. 2022].

Mahindra Humanities Center, 2021. Norton Lecture 2: The Forest | Laurie Anderson: Spending the War Without You Available at: [Accessed 5 February 2022].

Manning, E. (2016). For a Pragmatics of the Useless, or the Value of the Infrathin. Political Theory, 45(1), pp.97-115.

Tye, M. and Zalta (ed.), E., 2021. Qualia (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy/Fall 2021 Edition). [online] Available at: [Accessed 5 February 2022].

Vermeulen, T. and van den Akker, R. (2010). Notes on metamodernism. Journal of
Aesthetics & Culture, 2(1), DOI: 10.3402/jac.v2i0.5677

Van den Akker, R., Gibbons, A. and Vermeulen, T. (2017). Metamodernism. London:
Rowman & Littlefield International.

Wertheim, M. (2000). Pearly gates from cyberspace. London: Virago.

Zinman, G., 2022. Handmade Cinema – A Guide to the People, Practices and Themes of Artisanal Moving Image Production. [online] Handmade Cinema. Available at: [Accessed 5 February 2022].