New Media Artist, Toolmaker

Consulting The Oracles: Analog | Digital Cleromancy, 2017-2018

20-23min, 1920 x 1080 HD

 

Consulting The Oracles is a collaborative performance of Leslie Rollins & Eric Souther that engages myriad agencies of the I Ching through interactions within analog/digital sound and visual systems. During the performance, Leslie manipulates and counts with traditional yarrow stalks to consult the oracle, a meditative process which in time, builds one of sixty-four possible hexagrams.

 

The performance uses an analog-video synthesizer to enhance and expand video feedback (created with a video camera and CRT TV), which is partially controlled by an infrared sensing array placed in front of Leslie during the consultation. His analog stream is mapped onto three-dimensional shapes of Chinese ideographs associated with the trigrams and hexagrams. These digital generated shapes are manipulated in real-time via a hand tracking sensor. The hand and digital shape share the same X, Y, & Z spatial relationships combining in organic live animation coaxed from Eric's performance. This animation is composited on top of the consultation via a web camera allowing for digital and physical entanglements as the process enfolds.

Ritual to Cleanse Neoliberalism, 2016-2017, Performance, 15min, 1920 x 1080 HD

 

Many ritualistic practices include sensory overload, for example, drumming, dancing, or pain. The clinical analysis of these practices tends to talk about sensory overload as a method for disrupting the cerebral processing of information and decreasing the meaningfulness of your surroundings. In Haitian Vodun, sensory overload is used to break down the self in order to be susceptible to possession. Neoliberalism and domination culture use a similar approach to initiate a form of capitalistic possession, which alters your freedom to choose, to a freedom to choose what to consume, a system that focuses on winners and losers.

 

Marshall McLuhan uses Edgar Allen Poe's story A Descent Into The Maelstrom as a metaphor for evading the effects of media, which is the method of sensory overload that works upon us. The key for Poe's sailor evading destruction was to pay attention to Maelstrom and how it functions. Hence in my ritual I use a mantra sampled from Terence McKenna "Don't abandon yourself to amazement, pay attention, pay attention to what we're doing", an almost impossible task when being presented by a spectacle of images. If we don't abandon ourselves to amazement what can be learned?

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