Premium Connect envisions a study of information and communication technologies (ICT). It explores African divination systems, the fungi underworld, ancestors’ communication, and quantum physics to (re)think our information conduits. Embracing the idea that ICT acts as a mirror for the organic world capable of healing or harming, depending on its usage and users, Premium Connect investigates the cybernetics spaces where the organic, technological, and spiritual worlds connect. How can we use biological and esoteric systems to fuel technological process of information, control, and governance? Overcoming the organism/spirit/device dichotomies, this work explores spiritual connections as communication networks and the possibilities of de-colonial technologies.
Contrary to biased, Eurocentric thinking, our information super highway might find its roots in African spirituality. Significant research attributes the birth of computing sciences to African divination systems such as the Ifa system of the Yoruba people of East Africa, which appears to be the origin of binary mathematics, today the functioning principle of computing sciences. Once again the origin of knowledge has been erased in favor of Western achievements.
We have much to recover in terms of connectivity and its potentialities. As science recently discovered the role of underground fungi networks used by plants to communicate and transfer information, ancient tradition have long known how to communicate with nature and download its knowledge. Meanwhile our cherished technologies are the results of institutional violence and until now reproduce them continually.
In conversation with the Nigerian philosopher Sophie Oluwole, this video work is a study of dynamic networks from artificial, spiritual, and biological environments that digs into the politics of possibilities, where a mystico-techno-consciousness could nurture a mind-body-spirit-technology symbiosis.
This video and artist statement is published in partnership with D’EST: A Multi-Curatorial Online Platform for Video Art from the Former ‘East’ and ‘West’, a project initiated by Ulrike Gerhardt with DISTRICT Berlin and made possible through the generous support of the Senate Chancellery Berlin – Department of Culture. It was presented within the framework of D’EST chapter #4 “The Body as an Indexical Reader” curated by Eva Birkenstock, Ulrike Gerhardt and Naomi Hennig, launched at Moscow Museum of Modern Art (MMOMA) in October 2018.
Video, statement and stills courtesy of the artist and Goodman Gallery, South Africa.