Invocation – a digital ritual
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
- Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law:
Upon the floor is inscribed a magical circle. In its old world scrawl and intricate design it is reminiscent of medieval demonology and at its centre lies a simple box from which extends a set of headphones. The area around it is filled with a litany of invocation, constantly repeating its ritual; repeatedly drawing down the power of the Architecture into its centre.
Upon further inspection it can be seen that the magical circle is a digital printout. Its inscriptions are related to computer terminology and the revered figures of the computer’s creation and development. The sound that occupies the area is computer generated, with computer rendered voices calling upon the power of the Architecture; these voices are referring to the aspects of operating systems rather than aspects of physical space.
All the various parts of the work are fundamentally inhuman; a “.jpg” image of the circle, a “.wav” file for the two soundscapes. This makes the piece virtual art, in that it exists purely as information and will be available online throughout the exhibition time frame. The user can download this information, pass it through various encodings that will eventually render a physical manifestation and then arrange these via the necessary hardware into this particular configuration.
By performing these tasks the user will be assuming the guise of the hacker magician and will be taking part in the ritual themselves; creating a sacred space mirroring the virtual space that exists as information. This is in much the same way that an occultist might perform a ritual, creating a symbolic connection to a spiritual realm. This work hopes to highlight the gulf between knowledge concerning information technology and the passive acceptance of the computer into every aspect of our lives. It draws upon analogies that exist between the digital world and the human world, showing that it will always be a manifestation of humanity.
As above, so below.