Doctoral Students

Luiz Zanotello
Started in

Research summary

The Work of Abyss and Time: Towards an emancipatory poetics of the tropics and critical autoethnographic practices of research within media art

This doctoral project engenders a postcolonial understanding of time, space, and movement by means of artistic research methods within media art. The project examines the contradictory effects of the ‘abyssal line’ in the tropics as a starting point.

Located between the imaginary-concrete space separating the global north and south into zones of being and non-being, the tropics are discussed as liminal sites of encounter, political resistance, knowledge production, and dynamic transformation that challenge the dualistic project of colonialism. Within this framework, how do tropical epistemologies, practices, and technologies embody temporal, spatial, and kinetic contradictions in resistance to the dispossession, extraction, and universalization promoted by the abyssal line of thought? By rescuing non-dichotomic modes of thinking-feeling prominent in tropical epistemologies, this research combines critical autoethnographic research methods with artistic practices of reappropriating technologies as methodologies for experimental research through media art.

The research starts by investigating recurring tropical tropes (such as tropical sunlight, forest, sea, rain, desert) vis-à-vis the abyssal line as material-discursive phenomena that enact one or more of the contradictions of the postcolonial condition. Transdisciplinary in character, this doctoral project is situated within the fields of artistic research, media art, and the crossings between postcolonial studies, media theory, sociology, and philosophy. It aims, in parallel, at contributing to transdisciplinary methods of knowledge production through the arts and tropical epistemologies, as well as a postcolonial understanding of time, space, and movement that emancipates from the strict categorical imperatives of the abyssal line of thinking.



Luiz Zanotello (1986, Jundiaí, BR) is a media artist, researcher, and educator. In his current artistic research practice, he reappropriates emerging technologies toward a renewed understanding of time, space, and movement within a postcolonial condition. He is an Assistant Professor for New Media at the Berlin University of the Arts (DE), as well as a PhD Candidate and Research Fellow in Artistic Research at the University of the Arts Bremen (DE) in partnership with The Academy of Creative and Performing Arts (ACPA, NL).

In the past, he has exhibited and given talks at festivals, galleries, and institutions worldwide, including the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb (HR), Museum of Applied Arts Vienna (AT), and Cidade das Artes in Rio de Janeiro (BR). He holds a BA degree from the São Paulo State University (BR) and an MA degree from the University of the Arts Bremen.


Individual projects

    • A Knot in Motion: On the Accident of Rain

      For the »Magical Hackerism« Web Residency at Akademie Schloss Solitude, the duo Luiz Zanotello and Islam Shabana propose tying a knot between their…

      Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (DE)
    • Halbe Halbe

      Exhibition and lecture-performances by the candidates of the Binational Artistic PhD Program at HfK Bremen. Lecture-performances are being held at the GAK Bremen on June…

      GAK Bremen, Bremen (DE)
    • Every abyss is a poem yet unfinished

      Luiz Zanotello's installation 'Every abyss is a poem yet unfinished' departs from a personal story of mourning. It investigates time beyond the abyssal…

      Dauerwelle, Bremen (DE)
    • That which stays

      Luiz Zanotello's reading performance 'That which stays' consists of a collection of poems and auto-ethnographies that investigate the afterglow as a trope of…

      Dauerwelle, Bremen (DE)
    • The Dynamic Archive 03

      The Dynamic Archive 01 ( has been an online platform since 2018. The Version Room as physical gallery space is known as The Dynamic Archive…