Eugenia Stamboliev

E: eugenia.stamboliev (@)

T: 01752 600 600

A: Link 3, Plymouth University, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA

Project: Imag(in)ing intimacy. On the visual and material representation of affection.


This research unpacks different traditions of visualising and imagining intimacy through tracing moments in Science and Arts in which touch as gesture or symbol shifts in meaning. The frame work of analysis spans from 19th century hypnosis, early cinema and theatrical performances, to contemporary debates in Artificial Emotion (AE). The work unpacks structural differences and challenges of visualising immaterial, mobile terms within scientific technologies and media forms. 


Research Interest

What we consider to be intimate today has to be seen in a long tradition of cultural or social, scientific and technological co-construction of emotion, subjectivity and the human body. This work is not on what intimacy is, but on how intimacy relates to its expressive symbols and structures. In being based on symbolic codes, the concept of intimacy relies on visual 'hints' mediated through media forms while strongly shaped by those.

In this work, I suggest to think intimacy as a fluid idea or concept beyond restricting it to a context of feeling or ‘interpersonal relationships’ but rather to think it as a ‘shell’ that is intellectually moving through time and field as it attaches itself to other mobile concepts such as subjectivity, physicality and the contemporary buzz word, the mind. I will look into important steps in the history of visualisation technology, such as hypnosis in film and emotion in robotics, to unpack how the understanding of body, mind or emotion feedbacks into the visual represention of intimacy or affection.

What I aim to find out is how the visualisation or materialisation of a discoursive concept points to the ambiguity of its own symbolic representation, or how expression signifies experience. Basically, I am tracing the immaterial in the material, the symbolic in the literal, the imaginary in the visual when thinking intimacy or emotion.

This debate is trying to connect broader concepts such as culture, science, media and visualisation technologies and their influence on our lives beyond disruptive borders such as social or technological, artistic or scientific, and digital or analogue. This work is situated in media and film theory, philosophy (phenomenology, philosophy of technology, post-humanism), history of psychology, affective programming and robotics, and in general looks into theories on visualisation technologies in Arts and Science. 


Conference papers

'The Refugee as Image, and Image Maker. Using participatory filmmaking to break the Other’s gaze' [conference paper]. Future Imperfect. A symposium examining the role of cinema today. Plymouth, Plymouth University, 1 April 2017.

'Performing Emotions: Humanoid robots beyond bad acting' [conference paper]. Creative Encounters with Sience and TechnologyLegacies, Imaginaries and Futures. Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016. Kochi, Biennale Pavilion, 18 - 19 February 2017.

‘Using the refugee as vehicle for political shift – The 2016 Austrian presidential election’ [conference paper]. Media and Migration, pre-conference ECREA - European Communication Research and Education Association. Prague, Institut français de Prague, Canadian and German Embassy, 7 - 9 November 2016.

IN AWE OF THE THINGS. On the authority of objects in scientific and theatrical performances' [conference paper]. Annual TaPRA conference (Theatre and Performance Research Association). Bristol. 5 - 7 September 2016.

'Münsterberg, Flusser and the Screen Bodies' [conference paper]. A Hundred Years of Film Theory. Münsterberg and Beyond: Concepts, Applications, Perspectives. Leipzig, Leipzig University, 28 June - 2 July 2016.

'Telepathy, Hypnosis and the Medium' [conference paper]. Off the Lip. Transdisciplinary Approaches to Cognitive Innovation. Cooperation between CogNovo and Transtechnology Research. Plymouth, Plymouth University,  7-11 September 2015.



PEP (Performance. Experience. Presence.) Talk series.
Talk: Performing intimacy. On the dilemma of representing affection with non-human bodies (22 March 2017) 

MEDI603. Independent practice module. Media Arts.
Seminar: On Research methods. (06 February 2017)

Media Arts lecture programme. Independent practice module.
Seminar: 'Construction of the event in media and the media in the event'. (21 Novemeber 2016)

Transtechnology Research Seminar Series. 'Tropes of Affect: Devices, Narrative and Illusion.' (2016 - 2017).
Seminar: 'Human devices - Instrumentation of physicality in performance'. Collaboration with Abigail Jackson (19 October 2016) 
Transtechnology Research Seminar Series 'Objects of Affect and Affection' (2015-2016)
Seminar: 'The Medical Gaze: Mechanical Distance and the Affected Mind'. Collaboration with Agi Haines (13 April 2016)


Transtechnology Research Seminar Series 'Cognition and the Image of Affection: Instrumentation, Realism and Technology' (2014-2015)
Seminar: 'The Hypnotic Image. From affect to named emotion' (22 October 2014) 


Stamboliev, E. (2017) 'Münsterberg, Flusser and the Screen Bodies' [book chapter]. In: Steinmetz, R., ed., A Hundred Years of Film Theory. Münsterberg and Beyond: Concepts, Applications, Perspectives. Leipzig: Leipzig University Press (in preparation)

Stamboliev, E. (2016) 'Vilém Flusser - Without firm ground' [review: Vilém Flusser exhibition “Without firm ground“. Academy of Arts Berlin]. Leonardo Reviews. [Online]. Available at: (Accessed: 15/04/16)

Stamboliev, E. (2015) 'Telepathy, Hypnosis and the Medium' [Conference paperIn: Punt, M., Denham, S., ed., Off the Lip. Transdisciplinary Approaches to Cognitive Innovation. 7-11. September 2015. Plymouth: Plymouth University, pp. 205-214

Stamboliev, E. (2015). 'Shabbat' In: Zielinski, S., Weibel P., and Irrgang, D., ed., Flusseriana. Minneapolis: Univocal Publishing.

Stamboliev, E. (2015). 'Dwelling' In: Zielinski, S., Weibel P., and Irrgang, D., ed., Flusseriana. Minneapolis: Univocal Publishing.

Stamboliev, E. (2015). 'On Wittmann: On Münsterberg: On Cinema' In: Punt, M., Blassnigg, M., Drayson, H., Woodward, M., ed., Transtechnology Research Reader 2014/2015. Plymouth: Transtechnology Research Institute




2013 - open PhD Studies in “Philosophy, Art and Critical Thought” (European Graduate School Saas-Fee)

2004 - 2010 M.A. (Diplom) Communication and Media Studies (University of Arts Berlin)

2003 - 2004 Law, Art History and German-Jewish Literature (Freie Universita╠łt Berlin)