CineLab • Symposium

Mini-symposium: Techgnosis and Ecodelics in the Age of Global Meltdown

Patricia Pisters (University of Amsterdam)

‘The equipment free aspect of reality has become the height of artifice, the sight of

immediate reality has become the blue flower in the land of technology’

(Walter Benjamin in cinema, Illuminations)

The imminent irreversible climate crises and the speed of the development of artificial intelligence emphasize once more the need for a rethinking of the human-centric mastery of nature and technology in favor of a decolonized, variegated more-than-human intelligence. In this symposium, in facing the planet’s ‘expiration date’ in the Age of Global Meltdown (Taussig), we bring together two concepts that speak to the re-imagining of planetary intelligence: ecodelics (Doyle) and techgnosis (Davis). While ecodelics refers to the specific role of psychedelics in evolution (to induce ‘sudden bouts of interconnection’), techgnosis acknowledges the technological unconscious, where myth, magic and mysticism are part of technological development. Looking at feature films such as Vesper (Kristina Buozyte and Bruno Samper, 2022), Annihilation (Alex Garland, 2018) and several experimental films, Patricia Pisters will investigate how filmmakers imagine planetary intelligence anew in such ecodelic and technostic ways.


14:00 – 17:00 | Colégio Almada Negreiros, Room SE1

Lecture by Patricia Pisters (University of Amsterdam) + discussion (with film excerpts & readings)

Responses by Erik Bordeleau and Bárbara Bergamaschi

19:00 – 21:00 | Hangar — Centro de investigação artística

Film screening Ecodelics and Technosis: From Anime to Avantgarde

Life After BOB (Ian Cheng, 2021)

Atomic Garden (Ana Vaz, 2018)

Guerras Floridas (Colectivo Los Ingrávidos, 2021)


Bridle, James, ‘Conclusion: Down on the Metal Farm’, Ways of Being: Animals, Plants, Machines: The Search for Planetary Intelligence (2022), 308-312.

Davis, Eric, ‘A Most Enchanting Machine’, Techgnosis: Myth, Magic and Mysticism in the Age of Information (1998/2015), 196-225.

Doyle, Richard, ‘Flash Forward: Our Psychedelic Future or, “Think Peacock”’,  from the introduction to Darwin’s Pharmacy: Sex, Plants, and the Evolution of the Noosphere (2011), 19-26.

Ostendrof-Rodriguez, Yasmine, ‘How can our Imaginations Shape New Worlds?’, Let’s Become Fungal: Mycelium Teachings and the Arts (2023), 146-166.

Taussig, Michael, ‘Re-enchangment of Nature’, Mastery of Non-Mastery in the Age of Meltdown (2020), 54-60.


PATRICIA PISTERS ( is professor of Film and Media Culture at the department of Media Studies of the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. She is the author of The Neuro-Image: A Deleuzian Film-Philosophy for Digital Screen Culture and of New Blood: Women Directors and Contemporary Horror Cinema. She is the editor of Deleuze and Guattari and the Psychedelic Revival, a special issue of Deleuze and Guattari Studies Journal (2023). See for more information on books, videos and PDFs of her articles

BÁRBARA BERGAMASCHI NOVAES holds a PhD in Literature, Culture and Contemporaneity from PUC-Rio, with a doctoral exchange period at UCP in Porto, Portugal. Her thesis is focused on the filmography of experimental filmmaker Peter Tscherkassky.  In 2019-2020 she was a professor at the Performing Arts department at the Federal University of São João Del Rei (DEACE-UFSJ). She is a film critic associated to ABRACCINE, accredited by Fipresci. Currently she is a collaborating researcher at CIEBA at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon. | VITAE

This event is organized by Erik Bordeleau, assisted by Bárbara Bergamaschi, and will take place within the scope of the activities of the Art and Technology working group, coordinated by João Mário Grilo and Patrícia Castello Branco.

Event supported by the Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundação para a Ciência e para a Tecnologia) of the Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science under the project UIDB/00183/2020.