Miss Gia Strauss

Research project: The pursuit of interpretive delirium: Early pioneers and contemporary legacies of surrealist experimentation in film.


The proposed research seeks to better understand the intended and unintended continuities between the surrealist movement and moving image. As an integral part of my research I shall develop and produce an experimental film.

Three areas of focus will drive this research. First, I will examine the range of cinematic techniques that create the illusion of time in cinema. Second, I will look at the way these techniques work phenomenologically (acceleration, deceleration or total reconfiguration); how they are able to create or reveal what the human eye cannot capture and the mind struggles to anticipate or rationally assimilate. Third, I shall develop the reasoning in a more psychological direction by investigating how the state of mind, established knowledge, and personal desires of the viewer are affected by the illusion of time in film. At this point I shall attempt to introduce an element of creative indeterminacy into the mechanised production of film and its reception through the use of contemporary and early surrealists films.

The manipulation of reality as it is conventionally experienced is most successful when borrowing experiential elements from this reality and transferring them to an inexistent reality, something that can exist with deep phenomenological immediacy only on screen. It will employ cuts from one space to another, constructing a discontinuous space, a reality that is swallowed by a new reality, eclipsing the original space and time bearings of the earlier scenes while occasionally looping back to them in the temporally chaotic but psychologically recognisable manner of recurrent fantasy. Using window gaps and rapid editing, I will seek to draw spectators into unending sequences of different experiential worlds. This will follow the surrealist practice of seeking to ensure that there be no apparent starting point and no clearly defined conclusion in what may be described as a ‘maze' of communication bound by fantastic motifs rather than temporal threads. The cumulative effect of these is to disrupt expectations about time and identity, simulating the experiential assimilation of the ‘unreal' into the ‘real' by means of a ludic, technically induced loss of narrative identity to episodic identity.

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: The pursuit of interpretive delirium: Early pioneers and contemporary legacies of surrealist experimentation in film.
  • Research supervisor: Professor John Ó Maoilearca
  • Other research supervisor: Dr Corin Depper


I am a London based British filmmaker and visual artist, deeply influenced by the surrealist philosophy.

My films have been screened at a number of film festivals, most recently at the Mouth Film festival and the Groucho Club Film Festival.

During the past two years I have been involved with research into time & movement and surrealism within moving image with an investigative focus on the subordination of time to movement.

Areas of research interest

  • Surrealism
  • Philosophy
  • Psychology
  • The illusion of time through movement in moving image
  • The avant Garde movement
  • Cinematic moving image


  • MRes Moving Image Central Saint Martins (2019)
  • BA Fine Art Goldsmiths (2017)
  • Foundation Art and Design UAL (2014)
  • Diploma of Performance & Drama (2008)