Hosted and guest curated by artist and designer Tobias Revell, and curator and researcher Natalie Kane, Haunted Machines will attempt to navigate a vast landscape of sigils, signals, ghosts and daemons encountered in digital and technological culture.
The continued proliferation of connected devices and the narratives driving them forward has been running parallel to stories of surveillance, hacking and black boxes. While designers and technologists talk about ‘magic’ and ‘enchantment’ in regard to these devices, we forget that magic is a form of deception; a sleight of hand. Thinkers, writers, designers and artists are beginning to refer more and more to a new time of hauntings and the supernatural in respect of this new technological climate. This mini-conference inside FutureEverything 2015, hosted and guest curated by artist and designer Tobias Revell, and curator and researcher Natalie Kane, Haunted Machines will reflect on the narratives of magic and hauntings pervading our relationship with technology and begin to analyse why these narratives exist, what they mean and what they do.
Session One – 10.40 – 13.00
Writer and artist Joanne McNeil looks at our lives as lived online, her previous writing asking where our past and current relationships are coming back to haunt us as algorithms further mediate our culture. Artist and researcher Ingrid Burrington has considered how we are living with daemons, and as one of the founders of Magick Codes conference, she has interrogated the rhetoric of magick and technology to look for where we can live, or live without, magic. Previously calling for a ‘seance of the future’, writer Warren Ellis’s work has been known to muse upon our understanding of ritual and technology, hauntology, and our understanding of our imminent futures. The session ends with a panel with all speakers, hosted by Tobias Revell.
10.40 – Invocation by Tobias Revell
10.50 – Joanne McNeil
11.30 – Ingrid Burrington
12.05 – Warren Ellis
12.35 – Panel with Tobias Revell, Joanne McNeil, Ingrid Burrington and Warren Ellis.
Session Two – 14.00 – 16.30
Occupied with the way that systems break, and can be broken, hacker and artist Eleanor Saitta has worked at looking where our networks can be interrogated, and where better futures can be resurrected. Writer and academic Chardine Taylor-Stone looks at magic through the lens of Afrofuturism, looking at the relationship between technology, political resistance and narratives of fantasy. Ethnographer and writer Georgina Voss is interested in how we have the technology we have ended up with, and seeks to pull apart the histories, narratives, sigils and rituals of innovation. The session ends with a panel of all speakers, hosted by Natalie Kane.
14.00 – Invocation by Natalie Kane
14.10 – Eleanor Saitta
14.45 – Chardine Taylor Stone
15.20 – Georgina Voss
15.50 – Panel with Natalie Kane, Eleanor Saitta, Chardine Taylor-Stone and Georgina Voss
16.20 – Closing Ritual with Tobias Revell and Natalie Kane
Follow Haunted Machines online at @hauntedmachines, and visit the mini-site to read new writing by speakers, access reading lists and contribute to the conversation.