Open Learning Course

The Shamanic Spirit in 21st Century Art, Culture and Technology

Our exploration commences at a pivotal moment in the history of humanity in which art and shamanic ritual first emerged as a combined enterprise.

Start date: February 2022. Length of study: 10 weeks. Tuition: £400

We will discover how the birth of art and the creation of images coincided with the advent of shamanic technologies and rites catalysed by altered states of consciousness. We will follow the trajectory of these primordial forms of creativity and worship that gradually shaped the evolution of our modern soul and culture, including our experience of cinema. We shall examine the notions of the filmmaker as an initiating shaman, and the artist-shaman as a carer of consciousness. Moreover, we will study the principles of the ritualistic form in film and art as theorised and practised by the legendary filmmaker Maya Deren.

Humanity’s growing reliance on digital technologies has been amplified by COVID-19. To understand the intricate relationship between technological progress, telematic culture and the evolution of consciousness in a 21st century framework, we will be introduced to the Tao of Technoetics as a philosophy and a way of art and life. Unlike many innovations in media arts, techno-noetic sensibility seeks to heal and adjust the body and mind of all that is alive and is an integral part of the planetary and cosmic environment.

In alliance with this theme, we shall proceed to study the Overview Effect (OE) as a techno-noetic, transpersonal and paradigm shifting phenomenon through a curated presentation of pioneering art/science and technology projects, films, and Virtual Reality. Moreover, OE will be explored in the context of transpersonal psychology, consciousness studies, as well as its applications in holistic therapies.

Emphasis will be given to the analysis of artworks and projects that explore participation, the body-mind relations, the primacy of consciousness, field consciousness, and the altered-state of communitas.


Accordion Content
  1. Discover the spiritual dimension of technoetic arts, arts that explore and interact with consciousness through spiritual, biological, telematic and emerging digital technologies.
  2. Explore the evolution of the shaman, the one who cares for the consciousness of her/his culture, as artist, filmmaker, teacher and technologist.
  3. Study the impact of the intersection of technology and contemporary spirituality on cultural trends and products.
  4. Explore altered states and peak experiences through the lens of film and the immersive experiences of emerging technologies such as virtual reality (VR) and mixed reality (MR).
  5. Learn how 21st century technologies can be utilised to counteract violence, climate change, and generate well-being, compassion and communitas.
  6. Learn how altered states are interlinked with shamanic and spiritual cosmologies, cultural and social ideologies, technological innovations, scientific discoveries and paradigm shifts.
  7. Participate in a creative, meditative and ritualistic online activity, evolving a holistic learning environment.
  8. Discuss your own ideas about technology, culture and consciousness with peers and the course tutor on interactive forums.
  9. Join several live webinars, combining academic discussion with reflections on your own experiences.

There are no formal entry requirements to join this course. Come and study purely for personal interest and enrichment … and get the same level access as our postgraduate students who will be studying alongside you!

Before each course begins you will be provided with a Course Outline which will list the reading materials, time-lines, and any activities required as part of the course.

This course features 2 discussion forums, experiential activities and several live webinars.

Course leader

Lila Moore

Lila Moore, PhD

Lecturer, theorist, film-maker and mixed reality artist specialising in the field of Technoetic Arts.

Student stories

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