Felipe Cruz

Scholarly Retreats
Type of work

Felipe Cruz is a historian of technology whose research focuses on the relationship between technology and culture, as well as an avid developer in methods and tools for the digital humanities. He recently completed a book manuscript titled “Flight of the Toucans: ‎ Aviation and the Conquest of the Amazon,” which explores the role of science and technology, especially aviation, in the colonization of Brazil’s vast frontiers.

He has also written about what he calls “guerilla technologies,” technical know-how and practices created by technicians and inventors at the margins of society and developed outside of, and often in conflict with, formal technologies and authorities. His article “Fire in the Skies: Guerrilla Technologies, the Environment and Airspace in Brazil” explores this concept by following the history and contemporary practices of baloeiros, artisans mostly in Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo who practice the illegal art of launching hot air balloons.

His current research project, which he developed at A Studio in the Woods, is a history of the internet and transnational digital communities spanning the United States and Brazil. The research for this project mined the archives of the internet, from early Usenet and message boards in the 80s and 90s, to personal webpages and hacker communities at the turn of the millennium, to the evolution of social media since then.