Methodologies: Calling the Future

Chronicles of a Lost Civilization & the Discovery of the Spiritual Network


Excerpt from the diary of Dr. X
13th day of the water month year 2310
We have finally started uncovering the first artifacts from the site #361. We are extremely excited about this discovery as it confirms the hypothesis about this culture, however this discovery is still shrouded in mystery.

I have, nonetheless, tried to develop some initial theories about this newly discovered culture, which so far has shown uncanny similarities with other sites uncovered on the Island of Pho, by Professor Engleman fifty years ago.

Some of these objects display a highly elaborate craft technique, which leads me to think these artifacts were used in rituals or devotional practices.

Some of this objects have been able to receive heat transplants and for short periods of time have shown a glimpse of the primitive knowledge embedded in them. A team from the South Laboratories, has put forth a series of theories about the ghosts (software) living inside these machines, which were perhaps worship fetishes.

Other discovered objects such as the word prophets have been also discovered near some of the aforementioned sites, which together with found evidence support this particular theory. It suggests that these objects were part of a highly connected and cohesive spiritual network, which regulated the social codes, organized behaviours and rituals, and was an essential social institution, which gave meaning to the lives of these ancient peoples.

My hypothesis additionally proposes  that these objects were a sort of amulet, material representations of the individual psyche; they were the link through which social interaction was enacted, and individual identity forged.

The project began as a storytelling exercise. In 2012 the use of smartphones was already pervasive. Studies have shown that the brain activity of religious people confronted with religious imagery is very similar to the results from Apple fans confronted with their products. This fact as a starting point was incredibly interesting.
To being with it highlights the impact technologies are having in our brain, but it also showcases a more existential issue. Technology and in particular smartphones are infiltrating the space only mass cultural movements and organized religions had. Technology has in some cases replaced spirituality and religious practice.
We place our faith so fully in technology that we trust it to save us from the environmental disasters it itself has accelerated through rampant consumerism and designed obsolescence. 
These gadgets are receptacles for our innermost desires, they act as gateways for our attention and they hold it ransom. Technology has hijacked our minds.
Do children have too much screen time and does it matter how much time they spend on iPads, smartphones and laptops? East Anglian Daily Times
The project was born from a  fictional scenario where  all civilization vanishes after The Flood. Few survive, and many generations after they discover our consumer electronic landfills.
Designed for the Dump. Photo Credit: Chris Jordan

This discovery and the amount of skill and energy invested in these gadgets leads the future people to believe we are using these devices to connect with a ghost or spirit living inside the machines. Through the mobile phones and the networks these formed, people were believed to access the ghost they worshiped.

These objects are incorrectly or partially understood, so they are reconstructed in inaccurate ways. Similar to the way our modern scientist have ‘reconstructed’ ancient knowledge and wisdom.
mandala outline
iPhone vector outline creating a Mandala
iPhone parts are outlined and etched on a frost perspex sheet creating a Mandala. The mandala acts as the spiritual interface with the ‘ghost’ supposed to live inside these gadgets.
Renders and interaction for The Spiritual Network

A user interaction was designed so every time a user was located close to the Spiritual Network, it would initiate a series of behaviours requiring the users to log in to the ritual experience through their smartphones and only through interacting with their mobiles phones as keys could users access sacred states.

Prototype for The Spiritual Network.


Calling the Future exhibition. Sackler Center. Victoria & Albert Museum. 2013

Perhaps in the future mobile phones will be seen as the mediocre sacred portals of our age. Log-ins to a higher spiritual state. These small devotional objects and their contents are material representations of our individual psyche and act as the platform on which social cohesion and individual identity forges. We Called the Future and it arrived. Do we fully understand what that means? What have we sacrificed to host its arrival?

Will the reckoning come too late, when all the broken fragments of our memories are stored in a cloud, and we’ll feel the breeze of the sea through an animated gif?


Via Tenor GifsVia Tenor Gifs