Out of Season 7, 2012
Rachal Bradley will be at Artissima 2015 with Gregor Steiger, Zurich
In these works, the writing and rewriting of language is deployed as both the system of organisation, the determinate agent and outcome. And if this presentation can occupy and hold a subjunctive mode, how can it be put to work? Programmed to do one’s bidding. The subtext of the programme, and programming is an important one. It is a mode of writing and commanding with a remarkable set of specificities. In her work with and on coding, composer, humanist software developer and animal rehabilitator Laurie Spiegel writes of the profound ways in which coding shapes your mind whilst you, the programmer, actively, semiotically and materially shape it right back. Fibres and tissue actively working on each other.
In a wide range of contemporary debates on Japanese cultures of technological practice, brief reference is often made to distinct Shinto legacies, as forming an animist substratum of indigenous spiritual beliefs and cosmological imaginations. Japan has been described as a land of Shinto-infused ‘techno-animism’: exhibiting a ‘polymorphous perversity’ that resolutely ignores boundaries between human, animal, spiritual and mechanical beings. In this article, we deploy instances of Japanese techno-animism as sites of theoretical experimentation on what Bruno Latour calls a symmetrical anthropology of nature-cultures.
Green Screen Refrigerator, 2010
The more computed our environment becomes, the further back it returns us to our primitive past, boomerangs us right back to an animistic world view where everything has a spirit, rocks and lions and men. So all the objects in the world become more responsive, things that were once regarded as dumb become addressable, and that universal addressability—a network of things—creates this enchanted landscape. Magic is literally in the air. And that is an altered state, and an endlessly productive one. As an artist that’s all I care about, I need something generative. The other thing that fascinates me is that the networks and devices we all use are written and produced by these very logical, mathematical processes—algorithms assembled by autists—which then generate the undisciplined and voluptuous excesses of the digital realm, whether it be video or music. Something vital and mortal emerges from something as cold and lifeless as code.
Action at a Distance, 2015
Action at a Distance further elaborates the relationship between the macrocosm and the microcosm by exploring the philosophical consequences of quantum entanglement and the principle of correspondence.
Einstein called quantum entanglement “spooky action at a distance.” This chapter and its previous iterations ultimately describe a cohesive and interwoven universe, where science and pseudoscience are merely two complementary routes to understanding human life.
To paraphrase the Sufi mystic Hazrat Inayat Khan: one aspect of our being is like a machine, and the other aspect is like an engineer. In this view, the first step towards waking up is to recognize how zonked out and automatic we already are; such dispassionate and reductive observations help dispel delusions, reveal genuine possibilities, and thus paradoxically enable us to cultivate some of the most deeply human aspects of being. The machine thus comes to serve as an interactive mirror, an ambiguous Other we both recognize ourselves in and measure ourselves against. This is the path of the spiritual cyborg, a path whose buzzing circuits and command overrides represent both the perils and promise of techgnosis.