FIELD GUIDE ZINE – WEEK #2 TAXONOMY

INDEX

  • TONGLEN BREATHING AS AN ENTRY POINT TO SHADOW WORK / BODILY SENSES AS FILTERS FOR SHADOW WORK
  • DESCRIPTION OF TONGLEN BREATHING & SHADOW WORK, FURTHER EXAMPLES
  • HOW CAN SHADOW WORK BE AN ACT OF HEALING & THEREFORE RESISTANCE?
  • ACTS FOR READER THAT INCLUDE: BREATHING / VISUALIZING MEDITATION, BODY MOVEMENT, SOUNDING (VOCALIZING), DRAWING SIGIL / MANDALA, GRIEF, PUBLIC ACTION

 

SYMBOL FOR ZINE:

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  • 5 pieces to represent 5 senses
  • shapes alluding to a vertebra, but also a fluid quality to them
  • circular shape – holding space, creating a container to work within, middle is empty

ENTRIES

INSPIRATION & EXAMPLES:

Art that becomes more integrated in daily life – we are overly categorized as a byproduct of the dominance of Eurocentric thinking, whose foundation is individualism. Part of this idea is highlighted in “Art of Living on a Damaged Planet” that I read over the summer. Not only is science compartmentalized to a point of scientific inaccuracy, we are learning more and more, so have we divided many other aspects of life due to this particular lense.

Some ideas to also explore:  “Object / Subject” “Non-dual Perception”

LINDA MONTANO 

“The art/life institute handbook” – designed to make performance available to everyone

Each page contains a topic with preparation, possible events and room for personal comments.

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SIGILS / HYPERSIGILS & PORTALS

“A common method of creating the sigils of certain spirits was to use kameas (magic squares) — the names of the spirits were converted to numbers, which were then located on the magic square. The locations were then connected by lines, forming an abstract figure.[3]

The use of symbols for magical or cultic purposes has been widespread since at least the Neolithic era. Some examples from other cultures include the yantra from Hindu tantra, historical runic magic among the Germanic peoples, or the use of veves in Voudon.”

“In modern chaos magic, when a complex of thoughts, desires and intentions gains such a level of sophistication that it appears to operate autonomously from the magician’s consciousness, as if it were an independent being, then such a complex is referred to as a servitor.[9][10] When such a being becomes large enough that it exists independently of any one individual, as a form of “group mind”, then it is referred to as an egregore.[11][12]

Later chaos magicians have expanded on the basic sigilisation technique. Grant Morrison coined the term hypersigil to refer to an extended work of art with magical meaning and willpower, created using adapted processes of sigilization. His comic bookseries The Invisibles was intended as such a hypersigil.[6] Morrison has also argued that modern corporate logos like “the McDonald’s Golden Arches, the Nike swoosh and the Virgin autograph” are a form of viral sigil:

Corporate sigils are super-breeders. They attack unbranded imaginative space. They invade Red Square, they infest the cranky streets of Tibet, they etch themselves into hairstyles. They breed across clothing, turning people into advertising hoardings… The logo or brand, like any sigil, is a condensation, a compressed, symbolic summoning up of the world of desire which the corporation intends to represent… Walt Disney died long ago but his sigil, that familiar, cartoonish signature, persists, carrying its own vast weight of meanings, associations, nostalgia and significance.[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigil_(magic)

AustinSpareSigils

The Book of Pleasure (Self-Love): Psychology of Ecstasy is a book written by Austin Osman Spare during 1909–1913 and self-published in 1913.

 

PAUL LAFFOLEY “Mr. Laffoley thought of his “architectonic thought forms” as portals allowing the viewer to enter, transcend time and space, and achieve an expanded state of consciousness.”

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link:https://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/21/arts/design/paul-laffoley-painter-inspired-by-time-travel-and-aliens-dies-at-80.html

MOVEMENT / SOUNDING

MEREDITH MONK

From  artist Peter Sciscioli’s sound & movement practice and workshop “Sounding Body: Voice as Movement” 

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https://movementresearch.org/event/7863

Tonglen Breathing Week #1

Tonglen Breathing is a Tibetan breathing technique, where one breathes in the suffering of oneself or others and breathes out comfort, safety, happiness.

Pema Chödrön gives tonglen instruction  as follows:

“On the in-breath, you breathe in whatever particular area, group of people, country, or even one particular person… maybe it’s not this more global situation, maybe it’s breathing in the physical discomfort and mental anguish of chemotherapy; of all the people who are undergoing chemotherapy. And if you’ve undergone chemotherapy and come out the other side, it’s very real to you. Or maybe it’s the pain of those who have lost loved ones; suddenly, or recently, unexpectedly or over a long period of time, some dying. But the in-breath is… you find some place on the planet in your personal life or something you know about, and you breathe in with the wish that those human beings or those mistreated animals or whoever it is, that they could be free of that suffering, and you breathe in with the longing to remove their suffering.

And then you send out – just relax out… send enough space so that peoples’ hearts and minds feel big enough to live with their discomfort, their fear, their anger or their despair, or their physical or mental anguish. But you can also breathe out for those who have no food and drink, you can breathe out food and drink. For those who are homeless, you can breathe out/send them shelter. For those who are suffering in any way, you can send out safety, comfort.

So in the in-breath you breathe in with the wish to take away the suffering, and breathe out with the wish to send comfort and happiness to the same people, animals, nations, or whatever it is you decide.

Do this for an individual, or do this for large areas, and if you do this with more than one subject in mind, that’s fine… breathing in as fully as you can, radiating out as widely as you can.” 

I initially thought to map this practice within a larger Buddhist Breathing tradition, and then a more global breathing tradition that cultivates compassion.  I then realized that this is also situated within a larger map some refer to as “Shadow Work”. Where we find the medicine in the poison, instead of avoiding the painful feelings or shadow side of things or ourselves, we give it space and thereby can transform it.  The “Shadow” as described by Carl Jung is:

“…the unknown ‘‘dark side’’ of our personality –-dark both because it tends to consist predominantly of the primitive, negative, socially or religiously depreciated human emotions and impulses like sexual lust, power strivings, selfishness, greed, envy, anger, or rage, and due to its unenlightened nature, completely obscured from consciousness. Whatever we deem evil, inferior or unacceptable and deny in ourselves becomes part of the shadow, the counterpoint to what Jung called the persona or conscious ego personality. According to Jungian analyst Aniela Jaffe, the shadow is the ‘‘sum of all personal and collective psychic elements which, because of their incompatibility with the chosen conscious attitude, are denied expression in life’’

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evil-deeds/201204/essential-secrets-psychotherapy-what-is-the-shadow

Under the Shadow Work system, I included:

  • Chöd Nun Practices – working with “evil” energies, visualizing their own bodies as food for these “demons” as transformational fuel
  • Brahmavahara Cultivation
  • Entheogen / Psychedelic Medicine Ceremonies where healers hold space as you do an underworld Journey
  • Kambo frog poison for mental, physical, spiritual energy disharmony
  • Underworld stories in Mythology
  • Reiki 
  • Sound Therapies
  • Grieving practices 
  • Death & Birth Doulas

In our culture in the U.S., everything is monetized so deeply that even our emotional processing and how we view emotions are effected.  Shadow work isn’t seen as productive, and the community rituals that can be found historically & virtually worldwide aren’t very present in our culture. I’ll also be mapping the social political context of shadow work as well. 

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https://books.google.com/books?hl=en&lr=&id=WQWrCQAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA74&dq=chod+nuns&ots=NLs6rmaTsK&sig=P1YBzeMUzEsLwptyZZ3y80LHFlU#v=onepage&q=chod%20nunschod&f=false

Machik’s Complete Explanation: Clarifying the Meaning of Chod (Expanded Edition)

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/evil-deeds/201204/essential-secrets-psychotherapy-what-is-the-shadow

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tonglen#cite_note-6

SOMATAROT – Final Edition

Kimberly Lin and I decided to expand on an earlier project SOMATAROT for the final, making it an immersive installation.

Inside the SOMATAROT experience, you process your reading through the embodied oracle dance guided by mysterious holographic sybils.

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You will be handed a ball chime and instructed to enter the room. You will think of your question and once completed, you shake the ball and the Sybil’s begin their welcome. When they have finished, you place the ball on the bed that activates the cards. For the winter show we’ve created a pcomp element with a pressure sensor that triggers the read in p5 via the chime ball.

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https://create.arduino.cc/editor/Nire/b0afe97e-0158-49c1-b39c-7f722b42c373/preview?embed

SOMATAROT/p5sketch

Final VR Proposal

I’m creating a fantastical world that is less a linear story but more a dream experience/poem, incorporating ritual. Drawing from Rhizome theory, somatic intelligence, cellular memory and how that relates to movement/dance, effects of the absence of ritual & communal metabolizing, effects of capitalistic hierarchies on our bodies and psyches and subsequent divorce from nature.

One scene is a space surrounded by an abstracted time-lapse of mushrooms growing, with a spirit of the mushroom speaking to the user.

I’m filming 360 video over the weekend that will be of 3 people dancing. I’ve been struggling with how I want to it to end and am still exploring that through trying out different scenes, it also depends on my skill level to accomplish it. I’m also composing sounds or using pre-existing songs of mine for the piece. I’d like to connect mycelium I grew to MIDI sprout to control certain environmental aspects of the scene if I’m able to figure that out in time, but that will be secondary to the content.

April 1-12th

  • Narrowing down ideas and building different scenes/learning specific Unity skills for my final needs, re-editing many times so that my idea was feasible in the given time
  • building 3d characters for use in piece
  • editing video for use in piece
  • writing exercises for words used
  • making music for piece
  • buying materials to be used in the filming section

April 12-19th

  • filming of dance scene in 360
  • final building of all scenes
  • finalizing music and words
  • exploring MIDI further

Challenges

  • in an abstract piece – leaving things open for interpretation but also having concept come through, where those lines are
  • might not have enough skills yet as needed for everything I’d like to do

Materials Connexion – Bacteria Cellulose

    • Email link
    • Image of material
    • Link to Material Connexion page
    • How does it relate to your Soft Engineering interests?
    • Soft Durometer/Flexibility/Elasticity/Other – Which properties does it have?
    • Distributors – Where can you buy it? If no distributor, how do you get in touch with manufacturer?
    • On label use?

 

I was drawn to this piece because it is a natural material and is tough. flexible and translucent. It is a bacteria cellulose, it feels kind of like a very thing leather but more gummy without being sticky. It’s produced as a secretion from bacteria that’s fed sugary solution in a warm bath which I find very interesting. I’ve seen mycelium made leather like material before, they could probably serve in similar ways but are pretty different in texture.

I think this would be interesting to work with for the dome given its unique form and would look beautiful with lights coming through it.  It’s important to me that it’s eco friendly.

Manufacturer / distributor info coming soon when my login gets reactive on Material Connexions.

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SOFT ROBOTICS – SILICONE MOLD

I’m interested in exploring breathing texture where the top is the only part that inflates so decided to do a flat piece with this in mind. I poured the first layer of silicone thicker to achieve this effect. I cut out cardboard shapes in an abstract pattern and laid them on top of the first layer of silicone to achieve this.  I then sprayed the over the first layer of silicone and cardboard with nonstick spray. I then poured the 2nd layer, the places where you see the green shapes adhered and the negative space around it created an air channel. 

I left a pathway for air channel but when I cut it open I cut too deep, but it’s still able to inflate. I’m adding a photo of the silicone when I get to school.

Meditation #4 Who’s Your Baby

Expanding on “T-eye the Knot” project, Kim and I have added a feature where you receive an audio message from your future baby. You do this by choosing an MRI of a fruit that speaks most to you. Last meditation we used a natural phenomenon to predict the user’s wedding song, this week, along the line of the oracle board, we give more agency to the user via a personal selection of writing the name of their future child. The overall form is still taking shape but we see it as an interactive installation / performance.

This project is exploring different ideas of spirituality under capitalism, spiritual product-ing, modern family anxieties and how tech is increasingly mirroring & enveloping us.  Two references that speak to me in the overall theme of this project are:

This meme that I think is pro-magic but is maybe tongue in cheek saying magic/spirituality is impossible under capitalism? Or maybe they believe it’s not:

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And this article by Anna Tsing at UC Santa Cruz “Unruly Edges: Mushrooms as Companion Species”, basically argues that Fungus is the enemy of colonialism by way of ruining new farming methods of larger mono crops. She argues, this type of farming, expansion and oppressing created a new type of family structure developed in colonies in the Americas that were hyper-nuclear focused.

http://tsingmushrooms.blogspot.com/2010/11/anna-tsing-anthropology-university-of.html

The opening paragraph:

“Domination, domestication, and love are deeply entangled.  Home is where dependencies within and among species reach their most stifling.  For all its hyped pleasure, perhaps this is not the best idea for multi-species life on earth. Consider, instead, the bounteous diversity of roadside margins.  Consider mushrooms.”

The messages from your future baby are playing with the idea that some believe that we are light beings looking for different types of experiences on earth.  Susan Neiman’s first chapter of “Why Grow Up? Subversive Thoughts for an Infantile Age” comes up with the ideas of shifting and different roles of children.

The user sees the 6 MRI gifs of fruits & vegetables and type in the name of their future baby, according to the 1st letter of the name it will select one of the 6 with a verbal message from the future baby.

Sketch: http://alpha.editor.p5js.org/full/BJb6j1v5z

Concept Video:

Intro with 2 segments:

Code:

Soft Robotics – Bio-Inspiration: The Axolotl

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Axolotl are adorable amphibians who never transition to land because they are neotenic, or reach adulthood without metamorphosis. They are genetically very close to salamanders. They are indigenous to two lakes near Mexico City, Lake Xochimilco and Lake Chalco, with only the former remaining.

The Axolotls were revered as sacred beings by the Aztec.  The Aztec made the largest city in Pre-Columbian Americas named Tenochtitlan (current day Mexico City) on an island named Lake Texcoco. Like many plant and animal species, colonialism has directly effected their decline. In 1521, the Spanish drained lakes and built cities in its place. Currently there has been non-native fish added to Lake Xochimilco who are eating the Axolotl young.

The Axolotl have amazing regenerative qualities, and are able to regrow without any scarring, up to a 3rd of the heart, front brain, spine, limbs and testes. One can transplant leg and place it next to an arm and the body will adapt it. When they experience a severing, the cells in that area lose their individual characeteristics and act as stem cells and are able to regenerate accordingly, seemingly indefinitely.  They are 1000 more times resistant to cancer than any other animal and the only terrestrial animal that can regenerate. They are widely tested in labs due to this unique and powerful anatomy.

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How its features could be used in technology: regeneration for burn victims, amputees and cancer patients. Scientists are trying to figure out how exactly their regeneration works and some believe one day it will be able to be used for human regeneration.

When speaking of stem cells or any technology in general, there is always a looming question of ethics and which directions it can go in. We are beings of light and light makes shadow,  anything we create will embody this duality and the infinite choices of what to do within that framework.  A technology like this could be used for healing or a more “unnatural” or disturbing direction.

In the 60’s, a scientist amputated n Axolotl head and transplanted it on the back of another Axolotl. Both heads continued to grow for 65 weeks until they died. In a far out, but not implausible sense, if the Axolotl’s regenerative abilities were understood to the extend that they could be put to use – one could create creatures with multiple heads or arms, or possibly combined species.

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Meditation #3 – T-eye the Knot

For the 3rd meditation I worked with Kim Lin to make a matrimonial divination firm  “T-eye the Knot”, that provides services based on your interaction with live streaming jellyfish from Monterrey Bay Aquarium.  One feature is predicting your wedding song – one of the eery tracks NASA has made from each planet’s radio transmissions.

The participant will be wearing Pupil Labs glasses watching the live stream. According to where their eyes go the most, one of the planet songs will be selected.

We decided to go with Pupil Labs instead of doing eye tracking in p5 or another program for the physicality of it, but haven’t figured out how to work with the data yet.  In the meantime, here is the concept video: