In this module, we’ll explore the relationship between material artefacts, embodied rituals and practices, and ubiquitous computing.
Superstitions, alternative belief systems and practice of divination, including horoscopes, crystal balls, and fortune-telling, are culturally familiar but often poorly understood. Yet, these ambiguous practices suited to “open-ended interpretation and orientation” around systems and processes. Grounded in prediction, they also offer rich mechanisms for performance, dialog, and speculation on possible futures. As part of our investigations, we’ll draw on some of these rituals and practices. As we’re going to think about these systems and how they might present opportunities for alternative devices, getting to know the systems will be exceptionally helpful.
Gnosis means knowledge of spirtual mysteries. This is what you’ll build in this exercise (hence the title!). It invites you to gain a first hand experience with one of these rituals or practices and to try to uncover and understand the workings and systems behind it.
Brief: Examine a ritual, practice, belief or superstition by experiencing it for yourself. (e.g. have a Tarot reading, pay attention to your horoscopes for day, etc.). Document your experiences; pay close attention to and critically reflect on the systems and structures that support belief.
You might, for example,
Alternative: If you find this too personal an exercise, you’re uncomfortable with trying divination or ther practices, or you’d prefer not to share your experiences, you are welcome to complete an alternative warmup: Research and create a system map or diagram for an alternative belief or practice.
As part of this exercise you will be asked to:
You are asked to deliver three things for this warm up exercise:
The narrative and reflection should be approx 150-200 words (max.)
Share your outcomes as a post on the #projects channel of on Slack.