Linn Phyllis Seeger (RCA) - 2022-23 Students

Spectre, Stalker, Lover, Spam. Intimate Ecologies of Cloud-activated Mourning

PriIdentifying similarities in the way information is circulated as and through stories, this practice-led
moving image research translocates the traditional nursery rhyme ‘Tinker, Tailor’ and its functions as
counting game, fortune-telling, and the oral tradition of which it was a part, into our contemporary
metaverse. In doing so, this research troubles the collective future left amidst the planetary crisis and
rethinks who might be authored to foretell it. This research takes as a given that there is a palpable
sense of mourning amongst younger generations, and explores how trauma is narrativized,
circulated, and stored within cloud-activated networks.
The title of this research ‘Spectre, Stalker, Lover, Spam’ plays with the old nursery rhyme, ‘Tinker,
Tailor (Congreve:1695), commonly known as a fortune-telling and counting game passed to younger
generations throughout the centuries of traditional oral storytelling, circulation and exchange.
This research identifies similarities between the ways in which stories circulate in today’s metaverse,
and age-old oral traditions, which however, shapeshift now into seconds-long moving image stories,
or ‘slices of stories’ (Ball:2020).
Building from a tradition of artists working with and through the medium of networks and platforms
(Bennani:2020, Scourti:2019, Citarella:2021, Fei:2008-11), as well as mourning (Watkins:2019 &
2021, Zahedi:2021, Leon:2020, Rose:1996) my intention is to transform the device of the iPhone (or
similar smart device) into a creative partner (Jurgenson 2019). Making use of time-based narrative
formats on social media, I will build an assemblage-based series of moving image works. These will
be moved away from platforms, and will instead be activated across online and odine spaces. My
moving image works will allow for Intimate Ecologies to emerge: sensuous systems enabled by
shared viewing experiences across social media, peoples’ private devices, and public advertising
screens. These particular ways of re-seeing, re-inhabiting, and re-imagining the world will allow for
the sense of a shared, real-time unfolding of history.
‘Necrowriting,’ being ‘in the wake’, ‘staying with the trouble,’ and ‘becoming-human’ (Garza:2019,
Sharpe:2016, Haraway:2016, Jackson:2020) act as foundational methodological departure points for
this project by offering a means for understanding post-anthropocentric modalities of mourning and
collective belonging through storytelling. Technologies of community-building through online
narratives and memes (Jamal 2020) will be explored with regard to the question of the ‘encounter’ /
‘Ana-materialism’ (Golding:2012). I will elaborate on how psychotic geographies (Fisher:2016) and
contemporary online spaces as rotating anarchitectures are sites of terror (Lyotard:1974) and explore
their role in illustrating the circulation of trauma (van der Kolk:2014) within current PTSD societies
I will go on exploring the importance of aesthetics as means for sensing and sense- making
(Weizman/Fuller:2021, Guattari:1992). This Vnally will allow to better understand my moving image
practice as a model to counter the binary pounding of the information age by semiotic resignifying

Primary supervisor: Dr Josephine Berry, RCA
Secondary supervisor: Dr Thandi Loewenson, RCA

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