Constructing a future scenario
In a heavily mediated reality, technology and telecommunication has been catering to support spiritual needs with a range of apps and platforms being designed in recent years. The debate about ways in which humans interact with technology and how technology responds to human emotions has also been issues HCI strives to research and understand in order to develop appropriate systems.
Critically thinking these issues was one of the ideas this project aimed to discuss. For this purpose, a scenario was imagined.
The discovery of spiritual media from the future
I set to imagine that in contemporary times, devices that were heavily used in the future, for individual and collective use in spiritual practices. These devices process and interpret live data to create an immersive meditative soundscape, also generated in response to choreographed movement mapped by sensors which is later translated into sound.
In this future, interaction with machines will be multisensory and actively performed through platforms inserted in the mouth. The concept of “multi- mouthing” a common interactive practice.
Ceremonial hardware leaks from a future from which we are not so distant. In a world only perceived by digital interfaces to the point where even spiritual entities and energies are channelled from the web or made understood with the help of digital omnipresence. African cosmograms survived time and space, after forcefully travelling with enslaved people and being engraved in the most remote places around the globe. These scripts benefit from the web. Interpreted by its descendants and conspired with ancient native knowledge take over the network and master the spirit of technology. The machines of the future have managed to decode these ancient African complex algorithms and Ethnomathematics greatly supports the development of systems of the future.
Screens can lose ground to mouth, ears and nose, with humans reconnecting to the sense of hearing like in the time of the hunter- gatherers and with its mastered technological skills, a new media to enable self-growth and promote spiritual social dynamics will emerge.
The open collaborative session
Bringing together speculation about future practices and media devices.
Attention to the room was given to guide the participant to engage in different stages. When entering the room, the participant reviewed images of African ritual instruments, alongside images of pendrives, cameras and telephones. Images of cosmograms, Candomblé codes and computer circuit diagrams were presented next to each other to encourage a reflection on possible similarities between African diagrams and representation, computer and machine representations.
On a second table, the first prototypes I made were displayed with brief description. Every prototype made by participants was also put together with the others.
The third moment was the crafts desk, which would encourage the participants to prototype while I could learn their ideas about technology and the ways they interact with basic everyday machines, such as smartphones, multi- touch screens, self- checkout, etc. Attached under table, a contact mic connected to a PD patch triggered recordings of self- check out and till shop sounds. I used bleeps and tones as well as automated voices.