Philosophical Media — Excavate, Situate and Speculate Image Media

Seed project | FCT/ICDT

Computation, Hybrid Practices and Culture
  • Referência
  • i2ADS-2023-PhilMe
  • Período
  • 01.02.2023 — 07.31.2024

The growing emergency of digital computational technologies and media has been promoting a conversation on technological innovation that seems to veil the heritage and connection with pre-digital media. However, in the post-digital era, we experience a curious condition of automation and computation of technical and creative processes of experimentation, resignification, and hybridization of traditional and historical media. Such a scenario highlights the need to consider the genealogies and relations that constitute media, with particular attention to its discontinuities and possible convergence of models and production and expression.

Aware of this, Philme aims to explore image devices and propose their understanding as a possible means of creative and critical engagement with pre-digital and contemporary media ecologies. The research begins from the concept of Metaimage (developed by the principal investigator of this project during her postdoctoral research), which apprehends the notion of image as operation, process, and project. Based on that perspective and aligned with the studies on the archaeology of media, computational thinking, and critical design, we seek to excavate, situate, and speculate image devices.

The project will investigate pre-cinematic toys – also known as “philosophical toys” – and audiovisual media of transmission and production of content, performance, and installation in scientific and educational contexts. Therefore, we expect to develop analytical strategies for image media, draw interdisciplinary methodologies that move away from dichotomic approaches toward technology, and promote image literacy based on image device matters.


The project is organized into three moments:

Excavate media: this phase examines image concepts, objects, and processes. It involves the state of the art of research and projects focused on image objects and devices, archaeology of media, imaginary media, computational thinking, and critical design. The analysis starts with an exploration of the FBAUP archive, and we expect to expand it to the collection of other institutions.

Situate ecologies of media: comprehends the selection of media gathered in the previous phase to deepen understanding of its history, identities, and materialities. In this context, we will promote open classes and sessions on image device manipulation to foster critical thinking and production.

Speculate media: aimed at analyzing and systematizing the previously promoted practice sessions. This phase will focus on the creation and experimentation of programs and “philosophical media” for contexts of science communication and arts and design education.

  • Principal Investigator
    Camila Mangueira

  • Team
    Cristina Ferreira (i2ADS/FBAUP), Fabrício Fava (i2ADS/FBAUP), Limamil (FBAUP), Miguel Carvalhais (i2ADS/FBAUP), Susana Lourenço Marques (i2ADS/FBAUP)