jamie allen
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Technologies present themselves as the forward image of our desires, and these forward movements often keep us from sensing legitimate disappointment in them. The technological has always promised a great number of apocryphal benefits: from truth telling, to bodily enhancement, to cognitive amplification. Often things that don’t work simply must, as we’ve invested so much time, effort, emotion, belief and money in them. This rather legitimate disappointment is something we hide from ourselves and each other, making the technologies ‘apocryphal’: dubiously authentic, reliable, and functionally suspect. All thinking is speculative, and technologies absorb and condense this speculation, in particular as it intersects with ‘spiritual’ practices.

Focusing on the example of the E-meter, an electrical instrument used in Church of Scientology ‘audits’, a practice-based workshop inquires into the heterogeneous discourses this circuitry has provoked. Through making, workshop participants will analyse and recompose its function. Each participant makes their own (Scientology™) E-meter, in the process better understanding the over-coded, apocryphal, technological imaginary built around it.

Partners: Shintaro MiyazakiCritical Media Lab BaselEastern Bloc (Montreal)

Links: Recomposing The EMeter Reader