“We get the feeling that we haven’t truly begun to inhabit networks—the more ecstatic and catastrophic modes of interconnection remain to be tested.” –John Kelsey, Next-Level Spleen

In Origin Story, I juxtapose themes of radioactive fallout, networked systems, swarm mentality, and “better living” through technology to ask questions about time, and how our collective consciousness has transformed in the networks we inhabit. I’m interested in the ways in which digital networks are related to ecology, changing the way we view the nature/culture binary and the ways we continue to navigate the rhizome-like systems of today.

This video was inspired by Jesse McClean’s The Invisible World, a short film dealing with materialism, emotional presence, and hoarding tendencies in the digital age. I encountered this film for the first time while curating a contemporary artist’s film screening for a class, and has heavily influenced my decision to use only found footage and text. The Prelinger Archive provided material that felt nostalgic and yet relevant, a feeling that the anxieties and pleasures of prior generations still hold contemporary weight.

A certain foreboding arises through the layering of technology and biological phenomena. What human suffering is below the surface of the advancements in communication? How does the psyche transform in the space of instantaneous communication? The nature/culture, ethereal/material dualisms blend together as one superorganism, and our identities and online activities become the hum of a cybernetic existence.

Origin Story is an experimental video made from found footage from the Prelinger Archive, as well as excerpts from Donna Haraway’s essay A Cyborg Manifesto for the text.


Izzy Pezzulo studies visual media arts practice and environmental studies at the University of Richmond. Izzy’s interests and work range from sound art, to experimental films, to growing oyster mushrooms, to screen printing. When not immersing herself in the discourse of art, nature, and technology, Izzy is the general manager of her college’s radio station and rides her bike nearly everywhere.