Carsten Agger on Tue, 14 Feb 2017 13:00:46 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Technoshamanism in the South-South dialog

An interview with Fabiane M. Borges, coordinator of the
technoshamanism network.

/From your point of view, what are the main questions and problems of
the Global South? /

The usuals: impoverishment of the lower classes, media coverage
brokered by market interests, industry exploitation, mass insecurity,
depletion of natural resources in order to sustain developed
countries, elites uncommitted to the interests of their own people who
collaborate assiduously to maintain misery for their own interests,
government corruption, monocultures destroying forests, simplistic
development projects imported by rich countries with no attention to
regional particularities, the lack of investment in local brainpower,

/What are the gaps in the South-South dialog? ?/

When I arrived in Africa or in India, in the Middle East or traveled
to countries in Latin America, I had the same impression: that I
knew hardly anything about these places. There is a machine that
produces information, which is transmitted by a, well, biased,
fetishist media, and which does not deal with the issues from an
informed perspective, but instead with opportune metaphors and ethnic
discrimination; that constantly shows either traditional exoticism or
the chaos of violence, terrorism or proverty. They try to hide ways
of life, relationships, negotiations, ways of surviving or community
relationships, promoting through this massive ignorance convenient
ground for the most diverse “interventions” with the support of
the mediotized.

I signal the media as one of the biggest problems in relation to
dialog in the Globlal South, since they mediate “truth” and
homogenize problems, forging images and giving them importance
according to their pacts with market interests or war. Barring a few
exceptions of media outlets that are more committed to criticism and
the depth of the field – but even in those cases, in most, terribly
vertical. At the beginning of the 21st century, the Internet was
the great generational promise for more horizontal communication
platforms, where through open channels, networks, emails, sites, blogs
it was possible to access in a less mediated way local realities and
with this you will have more access to the general occurences around
the Global South. This type of access is more active, since it allows
for manifestation, criticism, increased knowledge, more equal exchange
among those interested. The Internet worked to broaden the terrestrial
spectrum and still works and has brought us more clarity about the
ways of life in “Third World” countries, since the ways of life
in “developed” countries like the fateful /American way of life/,
have been internalized in us ad naseum.

This promise, however, is at risk. All the horizontality
technologically possible amounts to sites, bits of land, sources
in dispute. A strange landscape drawn (programmed) by libertarians
and mercenaries, the first being under the power’s watch, people
driven to suicide, dead, hidden in fear, exiled; and the second
create design, engineer projects, set trends, according to market
interests and maintaining their own power. The rest are the users who
still exercise their minor freedom while providing figures for big
data, whether these figures are revolutionary or reactionary. What
is interesting to note here is that communication remains mediated
by market interests, but it is STILL possible, through the Internet,
to create niche transcontinental relationships and, yes, niche
relationships among the Global South. This is, at the very least, a
process of disalienation and self-recognition that should be broadly
strengthened by the involved States.

It is important, nonetheless, that these networks not be promoted
only by States, or large corporations, or university conferences
fashioned like those imported from Europe or North America, but rather
that these relationships be promoted on a large scale, strengthening
projects, meetings, massive exchange between these countries of the
Global South. What would be surprising and liberating, in these
encounters where new paradigms emerge over and above the timeworn idea
of progress and development, would be that more real questions be
debated, questions that are more linked to the demands of our planet
and its inhabitants (eco-demands).

/How do the episodes "At the Table" and "Technoshamanism", in which
you participated, relate to these gaps and problems? /

I think that the important aspect of that table was to clarify a
few questions related to technoshamanism. For example: it is not an
anthropologists’ network, despite having some very interesting
ones around. Nor is it a network of indigenism, despite its
obvious indigenism and its many programs with indigenous goups’
participation and references to those groups. It is not an artists’
network, in spite of many artists being involved with it. It is not
a network of permaculturists, in spite of its many permaculture and
agroforestry projects. It is not an electronic music network, in spite
of having much of this in it. It is not a technology network, despite
having many technologists and this being a central theme.

It is a network of people interested in thinking and producing technology and ancestral knowledge, targeted at free, autonomous, collective, collaborative, open source technologies. And ancestry is addressed not only through traditional knowledge, but also through imagined knowledge, subjective statements, expressions of body knowledge, of art, performance, music, of rituals and free cosmogonies as well as for the future, or rather, through the utopias that will be generated by this coupling, and projects for the future (which is also the past), ancestral futurism < -cosmogonialivre-rituaisfac3a7avocc3aamesmo.pdf>.

Thinking about the modes of technological production, technological
autonomy or the ideologies that pick up technology and argue over
its ramifications is the work of this network. And at the same time,
the work is about broadening the concept of ancestry beyond the
human and linear temporality. So it is not an attempt to include
people without technology in the use of technology; nor is it to
spiritualize technocrats, but rather to promote negotiation between
the fundamentals of technology and ancestry that promotes a more
engaged science in a thinking that is more varied and vice versa, a
thinking that is more engaged in a more varied science.

Perhaps in order to better understand one has to grasp the notion that
we do not agree with the ideology that runs through the technological
production of progress and development through market competition,
because this competition relies upon halting the flow of goods,
planning obsolescence and the promotion of irresponsible consumerism.
Not to mention, the technology project currently flourishing is
exactly one of extreme control and hyper-surveillance. We are in the
hands of a perverse God, of great magnitude, who is enslaving us all
and guaranteeing supreme life only for his chosen ones.

Bringing Shamanism into the technology discussion is important
because it conflicts with the monotheist imaginary of the superpower,
permeating it with spectral masses, souls, populations. Technology
here is placed in the service of something other than power and
control: that is to say, in the service of insurgent demands, local
needs, scientific inquiry, collaborative projects. Technoshamanism is,
thus, a collaborative utopia.

As a network of utopian collaboration (but also dystopian and
entropic), these concepts and these practices are beginning to gain
momentum through the encounters it promotes. It only functions in
network, it is not a government project and it cannot be spread on a
global scale, nor will it be bigger than itself, it is only boundless
for as long as it lasts. But it is international and it is coping with
associated networks, promoting debates, gathering knowledge that can
be put to use by groups or small communities, transferring experiences
from one side to the other, promoting free rituals, activating the
imagination and the field of subconscious relationships. It is a
social clinic for the future, exactly because it deals with this
ancestry (subjective, clinical subconscious fields), with these
societies (community networks, indigenous communities, Internet
groups, international communities) and with these futures (imaginary
dispute about the future, Antropoceno, de-antropocenizing practices).
Subjectivity – Society – Future. What other humans could we be?

We don’t know for certain how much repercussion technoshamanism has
in the countries of the South. We do know that in Latin America it has
a great deal of connection, with very engaged people from countries
such as Ecuador and Colombia. But I think it can be a great proposal
to start to think in this confluence between the Global South and
technoshamanism’s ancestralfuturism. There will be no technological
or future transformation without the paradigmatic change of subjects
and their ways of wanting.

*Fabiane Borges* has a PhD in clinical psychology. Her research
focuses on Space-art, art and technology, shamanism, performance and

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