écal

Thesis project, ECAL 2021

in MASTER PHOTOGRAPHY

Teacher(s): Anniina Koivu


AUTHOR: Sara Bastai
TITLE: How to build a collective memory in the digital realm?

SUBTITLE: Depicting humankind through methods of preservation
It seems, sometimes, like today’s main focus of interest lies in how future societies will perceive us. The traces we might leave behind can significantly impact the history and interpretation of our current present. Can we rely on digital preservation? What should we document for the future? How can we represent and preserve society in the 21st century without being reduced to mere computational information processing? This master thesis is a speculative reflection on our current and past methods of preservation of social history.

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AUTHOR: Maeva Bosko
TITLE: Dream worlds
SUBTITLE: What happens when we’re asleep?

Since my early childhood, I have dreamt a lot. Sweet, pleasant or strange dreams, nightmares, sometimes even lucid dreams. Night is when I escape to these virtual worlds. But what are these worlds? Why are they so different from my ordinary waking world? I’ve even gotten to the point, on various occasions, when I preferred these dream states to my everyday reality.

This is a research project into the world of dreams as an attempt to decode the unconsciousness in relation to the virtual universe and reality we experience at night.

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AUTHOR: Natalie Maximova
TITLE: Walking the landscape, in video games

With a focus on landscape representation in video games called “walking simulators”, this thesis attempts to uncover questions related to a complex and ambiguous notion of landscape, from its original conception to today.

During my research, I applied the interpretive approach of “reading” and decoding landscapes that have been used by geographers, as well as sociologists, artists and historians. Video game landscapes could be thought of as a system consisting of natural, man-made and cultural forces which can be identified and studied. The landscape in this case plays as a medium that combines, holds and channels these forces. If video game environments exist as part of our culture, what kind of connections do these virtual spaces form? This thesis tries to uncover processes behind the construction of the “natural” in video game environments.

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AUTHOR: Joanna Wierzbicka
TITLE: Why should our bodies end at the skin?
SUBTITLE: Rethinking bodily matter beyond a humanist imagination

This thesis follows the turn to matter within the fields of body studies, posthuman feminist theory, and new materialism in order to rethink the definition of what a body is and, more importantly, what a body can do. The main research objective is to find out how through questioning the definition of a body and the use of metaphorical thinking in this process, we can establish a more ethical living ground among other bodies.

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AUTHOR: Olivia Wünsche
TITLE: Myths shape reality

After having lived a deeply transformative psychedelic experience, all previously held beliefs and perceptions which conditioned my relationship to the surrounding reality, suddenly broke free from the prison of mental programming and limited awareness. Different aspects of this internal change manifested through an almost visceral connection to the Earth. I started to direct my attention towards subjects revolving around environmental and humanitarian crisis, simultaneously wanting to find the cause that has led to our current state of separateness, in which we distance ourselves from others and from nature. I understood quite rapidly that socio-political problem-solving is undoubtedly urgent and indispensable, however it remains shallow and incomplete by treating symptoms without curing the cause.

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AUTHOR: Zhang Manqin
TITLE: A diamond-shaped egg

This master thesis is based on different tools that can be used to explore the power of memory. Closely related to the author’s “I’m not a loner” photo installation, this research project combines fictional writing with the documentary approach of a diary.