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Establishing Thoughts – Conferences


ESTABLISHING THOUGHTS, 7th November, 7pm, M20 (Academy)

(1) Anthony Clair Wagner “(Un)Be(Com)ing Others: A Trans* Film Criticism of the Alien Quadrilogy Movies
Anthony Clair Wagner is a Doctoral Student (Dr. phil.) at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

(Un)Be(Com)ing Others: A Trans* Film Criticism of the Alien Quadrilogy Movies combines transgender and monster studies to bring, what I call, trans* film criticism to mainstream film.[1] Trans* criticism is concerned with issues of embodiment, transgression, and transformation. In order to identify the range of dehumanized and thereby monsterized bodies in film, I develop, what I term, somatechnics of monstrosity as a tool.[2] Referring to Susan Stryker´s appropriation of the voice of Frankenstein´s monster, I include what I call, positive monstrosity among the somatechnics of monstrosity, arguing for the empowering possibilities of appropriating the figure of the monster. I suggest that the somatechnics of monstrosity can contribute to a range of other fields outside trans* film criticism and that positive monstrosity might empower a range of dehumanized bodies.

Arguing that trans* film criticism itself can be a tool for transing and reading films that are not made about, for or by trans* people, I apply my trans* film criticism to the Alien Quadrilogy movies: Alien (1979 by Ridley Scott), Aliens (1986 by James Cameron), Alien3 (1992 by David Fincher), and Alien Resurrection (1997 by Jean-Pierre Jeunet) and performed a close re-reading of several of their characters and scenes with regard to the somatechnics of monstrosity and aspects of “transsexual identity formation” as detailed by Aaron H. Devor and Jay Prosser.


[1] I use the term trans* as being more open than the more restrictive term transsexual. My use of the asterisk after trans: trans*, should be understood as a wildcard character that symbolizes multiple possibilities, not just transsexual and transgender, but also other experiences and instances of transgression, transformation, and transcendence. The medical term transsexual refers to a person who does not identify with their biological sex and undertakes steps to physically change their body through hormone therapy and eventually surgery, often referred to as sex reassignment surgery (SRS). Transgender is an umbrella term that includes many different people, including transsexuals. But surgery and hormones are not necessarily desired by many transgender people. Since I am uncomfortable with the prioritizing of sex and gender in both terms and my interest lies in visual, physical, and behavioral transformations I prefer to use trans*.

[2] The term somatechnics highlights “the inextricability of soma and techné, of `the body´ (as a culturally intelligible construct) and the techniques (dispositifs and `hard technologies´) in and through which corporealities are formed and transformed. … technés are the dynamic means in and through which corporealities are crafted, that is, continuously engendered in relation to others and to a world.” {Sullivan and Murray, 2009, #42808@3}



(2) Sophie-Carolin Wagner “Poietry
Sophie-Carolin Wagner is a Doctoral Student at the University of Applied Arts Vienna

“Poietry” is an artistic experiment that serves as a communicational prosthesis to seemingly overcome the operationally isolation of psychological systems by giving access to another human entities’ emotions. It is a cellular automata and real time sound improvisation tool triggered by emotion.

Following the hypothesis that the cognitive potential of the human body-memory is subject to manipulating the boundary of the system with its environment, the various modes of communication exceed the immediate necessities of life subsistence. Sophie-Carolin Wagner investigates the epistemological consequences for the embodied memory, its repercussions for communication processes in functionally differentiated systems, i.e. the effects on the asserted division between a system and its environment, and the contingent nature of decision-making due to increasing levels of complexity and concomitant limits of probability.

Sophie-Carolin Wagner
Sophie-Carolin Wagner, born 1984 in Vienna, Austria, studied Economics and Social Sciences at the Vienna University of Economics and Business and graduated 2010 at the Institute of Change Management and Management Development under the supervision of Prof. Helmut Kasper. 
In 2005 she started to study Digital Art at the University of Applied Arts Vienna under the direction of Prof. Peter Weibel and Prof. Tom Fürstner from which she graduated with distinction in Summer of 2011. She consequently started her PhD studies under the supervision of Prof. Peter Weibel and Prof. Elena Esposito, from which she graduated with distinction in Summer of 2014.

The presentation(s) will be hold in English.

ESTABLISHING THOUGHTS, 3rd October, 7pm, M20 (Academy)

Anna T. “The Opacity of Queer Languages”
Anna T. is a Visual Artist and a PhD in Practice Student at the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

She explores aspects of privacy, communication, and performativity in the form of sub-cultural slangs.
Her research focuses -but does not shed light- on a number of queer slangs
utilized by queer or otherwise marginal(ised) subjects around the world, and in diverse
temporalities, in order to produce safer spaces of communication, contact, and exchange, and
avoid persecution, arrest, or other potentially violent incidents.
The languages are explored through ideas of passive resistance, opacity, and embodied
performances, drawing from D. Katz, Glissant, and DeVilliers, and pose questions on the
mechanisms of concealment, exclusion, and community formation, that seem to intersect them.

The presentation will be hold in English.


is a monthly discourse format happening at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna to offer Doktorats- & PhD-in-Practice students an interdisciplinary, academic platform to present, discuss and diagnose their theses.

The format is organized and curated by the students themselves, together with their representatives, aiming to establish a local hot spot for emerging academic research and collaboration. Based on general open calls there will be, each month, two at most hourlong presentations, with subsequent time for open discussions.

The format is a collegiate initiative, complementary to the Academy’s already established efforts (Center for Doctoral Studies, Graduiertenkonferenz, Fantastic Wednesdays). It aims to be another step to connect Doktorats- & PhD-in-Practice students throughout the institutes of the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna, as well as with those of the University of Applied Arts, Vienna.

Establishing Community

  • to establish a discourse format to support Doktorats- & PhD-in-Practice students in publicizing their research efforts
  • to make the PhD research visible outside of the various PhD seminars
  • to enable and consolidate interinstitutional exchange

Establishing Research

  • to support in verbalizing and presenting the individual research in an academic public (students,alumni, Doktorats- & PhD-in-Practice students, midlevel faculty and professors)
  • to gain additional presentation experience
  • to extend the academic CV
  • to get implicit peer reviews for one’s research


  • Short introduction to lecturing person and presented theme
  • 30-45min presentation, with open discussion until the end of the hour
  • There will be two lectures each evening
  • After the presentations there will be time to continue the discussion, or simply sit together to have a drink

Presentation Dates

  • Friday, 3.10.2014, 7pm
  • Friday, 7.11.2014, 7pm
  • Friday, 5.12.2014, 7pm

Deadline for submission

As there are still possibilities for presentations available send us your proposal (max 1 page) and CV (max 1 page) to