Video, Code, New Media Art

Ritual to Cleanse Neoliberalism, 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?

© 2017 Eric Souther. All rights reserved.