THE SHAMANIC SPIRIT IN 21st CENTURY ART, CULTURE, AND TECHNOLOGY
MSc Course Module
Our exploration commences at a pivotal moment in the history of humanity in which art and shamanic ritual first emerged as a combined enterprise. We will discover how the birth of art coincided with the development of transformative shamanic technologies and rites catalysed by altered states of consciousness. These primordial forms of shamanic rituals eventually shaped the modern experience of cinema, and are reflected in today’s highly visual screen-cultures. However, in the 21st century, we are called to be critically, philosophically and creatively engaged with accelerating technological expansion. Technoetics, as a field of research and practice that considers the interrelations of technology and consciousness, can assist in navigating a multidimensional, hyper-connected world, comprising psychic inner-space, cyberspace, and virtual reality in conjunction with physical and ecological reality.
In this course we will explore technoetic theory and methodology through the analysis of specially selected films, artworks, screen-dance, and mixed reality projects that intersect shamanic technologies, mythic and spiritual depictions, deriving from aboriginal, ancient and contemporary cultures. Included is the space-age peak-experience dubbed The Overview Effect (first experienced by astronauts when viewing earth from space) which has led to educational endeavors aimed at stirring an environmental worldview. We will also ponder on an experimental noetic mode of communication with cosmic or alien intelligences conducted by a SETI art and science project that harnesses The Overview Effect for potential intergalactic encounters.
Broadly, the course traces the shamanic characteristics of art and film, the significance of images reflecting noetic states and their impact on cultural trends and global paradigm shifts. It explicates the manners with which aesthetic portrayals of altered states are interlinked with shamanic and spiritual cosmologies, cultural and social ideologies, technological innovations and scientific discoveries.
The experiential aspect of the study involves Networked Rites, an online collaborative, creative and ritualistic activity designed to induce a compassionate field of consciousness and communitas.
In this course you’ll get an opportunity to: