Joana Rafael (b.1979) is an architect practitioner, researcher and writer, currently based in Porto. Holds a PhD in Visual Cultures and a MRes in Research Architecture from Goldsmiths, University of London, and a MA from the Metropolis program, once administered by the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and the Center for Contemporary Culture in Barcelona. She dedicates herself to the development of projects and provides architectural consultancy. As a researcher, Joana develops interdisciplinary work centred on (issues of) ecology, contemporary, digital and material culture, technology and natural sciences. Uses writing as a research tool. Joana received the Erasmus+ grant (2001), FCT´s PhD Research Scholarship (2008), a study grant from Concordia University, Montreal (2008) and the Research (2019) and Production (2020) grant from Digital Cultures, Creative Industries NL, Netherlands - which led to the development of Lost Zone: Hiking the Dawn of the Metaverse, published by ViaIndustriae, Italia. Joana has been Assistant Professor at Central St. Martins, London (2009 – 2015), the University of Creative Arts, Canterbury (2013–15), the Instituto de Ciências Educativas, Penafiel (2017–20) and Escola Superior Artística do Porto (2020-2022). Teaches Contextual Studies and Contemporary Culture-related courses, and is a member of ISPUP (Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto) and CEGOT (Center for Studies in Geography and Spatial Planning). Joana is also a certified farmer.
On the Techno-Sublime
Metropolis MA Program, CCCB + UPC, Barcelona
On the Techno-Sublime explores the enduring art-historical and philosophical notion of the sublime in the light of the new technologies, in order to manifest the intangible rupture between conscience and material world. Under three problematic around the same thematic, this essay is structured in three rounds, flights or challenges, trying to relate concepts, its roots on history, effect on context and change in stage. Following the Aristotelean perspective of pathos, ethos and logos, the present research is trying to explore the notion of the sublime, in our contemporary society, through those concepts. The present thesis make a specific and thorough analysis on the limit that separates the material world and the technologies that are capable to construct new virtual realities, which interact and condition the human conscience. That limit, a flexible and porous limit, is been mapped through different and interrelated readings of various aspects of our contemporary society.