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Saturday, 6 December 2014

NARRATING (back to) THE FUTURE (of electronic art) NOW. (Part 1)


Take a deep breath, inhale slowly for seven seconds. Focus on your breath.

Hold your breath for four seconds. 

Exhale slowly in seven seconds

The following are few excerpts from my 'ramblings' in REKA 2014 (International Conreference on Creative Media, Design & Technology). The names in brackets are predominantly my own references. No list of references provided, I'm lazy.

I began by mapping out what I like to fancy as a 'shifting-return' notion of time and space, especially in regards to the practice of contemporary art and design. The 'shift' in this regards, refers to...

Collective and active term for an ongoing or recurrent process of change and transformation that entices post-structuralist strategies of deconstructing, dismantling, dislocating, questioning, probing and re-interpretation of the normalized narratives and discourses of modernism, especially in relation to the practices of contemporary art and design in the last forty years.

My interest of course, is in 'Malaysia' and her relation to the larger context of such shift. The 'shift' has been articulated through a confluence of the following discourses:

Einstein’s relativity 
Time-space warp

Quantum physics
Brain and mind studies
Cognitive and Neuroscience
Learning theories
(Capra, Stuart, Davies, Hamerhoff)
(Bloom, Springer, Buzan, Kolb)

Communication and
(M. McLuhan, Neil Postman)
 as opposed to

New media
Neural network
(Gibson, Nelson, Negroponte, Tapscot,
Castell, Manovich)

The discourse of the ‘future’
(Toffler, Burrus and Naisbitt)

Bahaman Hashim, "Virtual Reality", 1993
 The 'shift' above has also been fueled by critical theories especially in relation to language, and how the theories have been deployed as frameworks for cultural studies.

Epistemological shift,
critic of positivist’s
stance, critic of capitalism-
(Hockheimer, Adorno, Zerzan)

Structuralist  &
Visual semiotics
 (Saussure, Pierce)

Post-structuralist – Death of the author
(Barthes), Deconstruction (Derrida)

Knowledge and power

Media imperialism

Suhaimi Tohid, "Dalam Seminit" (In A Minute), 1994

Concurrent to the 'shift' above is the word 'return', which in this regards, refers to:

Revisiting, re-discovering, rejuvenating, re-flowering, re-adaptation and revival  of local and regional traditions , cultures and heritages. In cultural studies, it has usually been contextualized as a part of post-colonial reflex through the discourses of decolonization, localization, re-interpretation and for some, indigenization of local knowledge. It also implies rethinking or re-framing of tradition through the language of physics (Zain: 1995), outside the normalized, frozen (or ideologically-narrowed) readings of history and anthropology, especially in the larger context of trans-cultural Asia and Southeast Asian 'roots'.   

 Such 'return' has for the past forty years or so, especially since the 1970s, driven the following 'fields' of research, experiments, explorations, publications and activism:
Convergence of art and science
New age spiritualism

Emotional & Spiritual intelligences

Contemplative/meditative science

Inner quality of being
The zen of ‘now’ness

Mystical reality


Inner self

Knowing oneself
(Depak Chopra, Echart Tole,
Rhonda Byrne, Daniel Coleman,
Jon Kabat Zinn, Chade-Meng Tan, 
Ismail Faruqi, Nakula, Syed Muhammad
Naquib Al-Attas, Ismail Zain,
Sulaiman Esa,
Redza Piyadasa)

 Personally (yaa, I'm being bluntly non-objective and highly subjective here), my quantum vibes are more attracted to the above-listed discourses of 'return' (in red fonts). 

I fancy them as non-logical (intuitive) paths to new consciousness, some sort of global awakening, propelled technologically by emerging and increasing confluences of global 'neural networks'.  

The neural networks (social media for example) are currently littered by what I would term as 'toxic discharges'. Toxic discharges are predominantly conditioned thinking-feeling that have formed individual and collective toxic memories. Such discharges can be taken as a kind of 'reflex' that normally takes place in the process of 'awakening' and 'healing'. It is a part of 'healing crisis' in which conditioned and habitual (or hardened) thought-emotion patterns are disintegrating, or in a hip term, deconstructed. Some would refer to it as 'global crises'. It is a phase of transition in collective human consciousness, from lower 3D-bound dimension to a higher trans-dimensional consciousness. Don't ask me how long will this 'healing crisis' of awakening take. I'm not a bomoh, not a fortune-teller nor Nostradamus.   

Such networks emulate quantum inter-connectivity of humans' mental and emotional dimension. I refer to it as neural inner-net. 

Neural inner-net is also connected to the larger enveloping cosmic energy of higher dimension. 

Through the practice of 'mindfulness' beyond the highly-conditioned excessive left-brain thinking pattern, one engages in a trans-humanist (Huxley) inner-connectivity of 'higher consciousness'.

Higher consciousness refers to a constant awareness of one's own mental and emotional states and their inner-connectivity with the 'universal mind', as they transpire in every moment of 'now'.  It is also referred to by several researchers of 'mindfulness' such as Jon Kabat Zinn as being in the present.

Yaa, have to admit, these 'ramblings' are rather mouthful and full of fancy jargon. Sorry, can't help it. Don't worry, you may trash them if you want to. Or you may take a deep inhale and exhale as you read the ramblings.  Trust me, your lower mind may repel them, but your higher mind 'knows'.

I stop here, before resuming in another blog entry. 

Convergence of inner and outer spaces in TC Liew, The Returning (Silent Dialogue) (2010) first exhibited at the Muzium & Galeri Tuanku Fauziah (MGTF) Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in 2010 and recently at MIA Gallery in conjunction with Rear-view Forward event in 2013


Take a deep breath, inhale slowly for seven seconds. Focus on your breath.

Hold your breath for four seconds. 

Exhale slowly in seven seconds


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