The Digital Shaman is an individual who is grounded in both the digital and the physical worlds. They guide others from birth into the digital realm where they can be confronted with the traumatic reality of their future fragmented virtual selves. They stem from the traditional shaman as guide and healer, taking lessons and energies from the transcendental realm by entering into states of altered consciousness.
Digital Shamanism documents the process of living in two simultaneous realities: the digital and the physical. These realities confront and fracture one another, straining our minds and our spirits. Through rituals and journeys into digital realms, the Digital Shaman learns to exist as a conduit between these realities to bring back knowledge from deep within the network.
Western scientific empiricism has denied the benefit and efficacy of traditional shamanism as a psychological and spiritual healing practice. It has also denied the validity of these magical realms whilst simultaneously constructing its own digital spiritual network.
Our bodies and minds are digitalised from pre-birth. We are forced into the network to exist eternally. Therefore it is essential that we learn how and where we float through this realm in order to embrace both realities in the hope that we can once again exist grounded and whole.
Our systems of governance treat economic value as a divine right. It has absolute power. Any contest to its sovereignty is considered a direct threat that is met with swift and ruthless retribution. The human body is a mere byproduct in this system’s desire for economic growth and stability. It is abused and exploited for capital gain. How can we empower ourselves and our bodies in a system that values money above all else?
We must become financial objects.
How then would the perception of our bodies change were we to be confronted with their financial value? Would we take better care of our bodies with the knowledge that every lifestyle decision we made had financial repercussions?
The process of commodification is sterile, abstract and devoid of an understanding of the organic complexities of humanity. We become a series of normalised and numericised products that disconnect us from their true purpose. It makes us the producer, maintainer and distributor - a holding cell ready for future customers, securing the health and wellbeing of the product. When the body is distilled down to its disjointed financial components we lose the essence of the human.
With the knowledge that the earth contains a finite amount of resources, the search for alternative sources is vitally important to the preservation and sustained development of humanity. When all else fails on earth, look to the stars.
The sheer magnitude of resources on Near Earth Asteroids is almost unfathomable. NASA estimates that the value of the entire asteroid belt is in the region of $700 quintillion, over 9 million times larger than the Gross World Product.
Mineral exportation is essential to the growth and stability of developing countries but in a future where resources could be gathered extra-terrestrially, these countries would suffer greatly whilst developed countries with investments in asteroid mining would flourish, further dividing nations and pushing more of the global population into poverty.
It is not acceptable that through technological advancement and economic domination, we regress on a humanitarian level. It is essential then that when we look to the stars for answers, we remember that we all share this warm, wet orb floating in the cold abyss of space. And so it is imperative that we unify as a planet to improve the lives of all that inhabit it, and not exploit one another through a system of power, control and greed, devoid of compassion.
Our lives are becoming increasingly controlled by political agenda. In order for governments to anaesthetise society's awareness of this control, new forms of distraction are created through the mainstream media and misinformation. The methods that government now employ are so subtle that they often go unnoticed.
Objects of Control explores these distractionary methods of control through the manipulation of form and material, using the power of beauty as an anaesthetising tool. It speculates upon and discusses a future where tangible objects are used to control members of society.