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.
Watch the full talks from this session below.
A mini-conference inside FutureEverything 2015, hosted and guest curated by artist and designer Tobias Revell, and FutureEverything’s Natalie Kane, Haunted Machines reflected on the narratives of magic and hauntings pervading our relationship with technology and began to analyse why these narratives exist, what they mean and what they do.
Writer Joanne McNeil interrogates technology through the appearance of hoaxes, spoofing and fear, and where this address our reliance upon our devices. What is authentic in our experiences online, and how does the internet allow for inauthenticity and deception?
Artist and writer Ingrid Burrington looked at where we can reclaim the narratives of magic from those uses that relinquish our power over the technology we use. How do institutions of power invoke magic to deny their accountability for their actions, and how can we keep magic as something hopeful?
Writer Warren Ellis explores the point in history at which science and magic split, and where this relationship remains in the devices we evoke from the ether. Where have the narratives of magic been realised and replicated in our contemporary incarnations of technology, and where have our strive for innovation created the condition for witchcraft.
We then invited Warren, Ingrid and Joanne to join host Tobias Revell for a discussion on the voices that reveal this magic, digital doppelgangers and shadows, and where we can live in a world with magic.
In the second session of the day, writer Chardine Taylor-Stone looks at afrofuturist narratives of technology and science fiction culture, and where it is placed in black political resistance, liberation and activism. Where are the missing narratives of magic surfacing, and why is there a need more than ever for them to exist?
Hacker, designer and artist Eleanor Saitta looks at the role of power and intent in innovation and design, and where the lore associated to chaos magick can help us interpret it. Finding where these analogies enable us to understand where exclusion lies, Eleanor shows us how this summons incomplete versions of the world we inhabit.
Ethnographer and writer Georgina Voss’ talk centres on the ways that technology creators summon visions and expectations into the world. Who gets to define what our technology is, or will become, and what dark magic arises?
We then welcome Georgina, Chardine and Eleanor back to the stage to join host Natalie Kane to discuss how spaces are created online by marginal communities to communicate their visions of the world, what the role of stories is in technology, and who really holds the power.