Why farmpunk?

A farmpunk could be described as a neo-agrarian who approaches [agri]culture, community development and/or design with an anarchistic hacker ethos. "Cyber-agrarian" could supplant neo-agrarian, indicating a back-to-the-land perspective that stands apart from past movements because it is heavily informed by conceptual integration in a post-industrial information society (thus "forward to the land" perhaps?) The art and science of modern ecological design—and ultimately, adapting to post-collapse contexts—will be best achieved through the combined arts of cybermancy and geomancy; an embrace of myth and ritual as eco-technologies. In other words: the old ways of bushcraft and woodlore can be combined with modern technoscience (merely another form of lore) in open and decentralized ways that go beyond pure anarcho-primitivism. This blog is an example of just that. Throughout, natural ecologies must be seen as the original cybernetic systems.

**What we call for at the farmpunk headquarters**
°Freedom of information
°Ground-up action + top-down perspectives
°Local agricultural systems (adhering to permaculture/biodynamic principles) as the nuclei of economies
°Bioregional autonomy
°Computers are optional but can be used for good—see peer to peer tech, social media for direct popular management of natural or political disasters (e.g. Arab Spring), or the mission of the hacker collective Anonymous

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Gospel of Goa - A Homily to a Technoshamanism

And now, a brief interlude from the "classical learning" and austere monasticism of the academy to meditate on its opposite: ecstasy, collectivity, and the profane fusion of fiction and reality.

Often I find myself in dire need of psytrance, a favorite spiritual aid, to empty the brain of thoughts…. much needed in the business of sense-making.

As many know, there is no worthwhile productivity and sustainable creativity without contemplation of and within a realm beyond words, things and meanings… where there is only form, and pattern…

Perhaps I could call psy-trancing a yogic practice -- a process by which mind, body and cosmos are harmonized, if even for an instant, before being plunged back into a more logical existence. Psychedelic trance, or Goa trance is the eternally underground music of the cybernetic heir to the drum circle, representing a strange, always-peripheral cultural project where technology’s highest purpose is shamanic divination and the re-invention of the vision quest.

The word “rave” enters naught into the culture of psychedelic trance. These are not raves, they are more political than that. But they are also less political than that. Raves are urban phenomena, constructed by the city… Psytrance festivals ARE cities, alternative, ephemeral cities in the proverbial desert or in the wilderness. They are socio-political spiritual experiments, training grounds for post-modern magicians, experimental technophilic liturgies, bionic passion plays, meditations on creation and destruction, parodies of culture, functional engines of art in which people are the fuel, the means is the end, combustion is the point. They are mappa mundi, navels of the world that pop up like mushrooms; the fleeting fruiting bodies of a whimsical subterranean intelligence…thus they also subvert the idea of a center, of a temple, of Mecca. They are the sacred grove of the Druids, existing in both the Edenic past and the apocalyptic future. They are open source mythology, allowing users to create their own content. (Garden of Eden Creation Kit anyone?) They both renounce the world and embrace it. They connect Atman to Brahman… they continually comment upon themselves, giving you no room to complete a thought. They wink and urge you to forget what they’ve just said. There is no performer, even the DJ is just the mediator of the divine word: the beat. And the word is pure form, Pythagorean mysteries inscribed with ink drawn from the entire palette of the electromagnetic spectrum, and the scribe’s medium is flesh—not vellum, but your living flesh, the interpreter of the signal, your body is an integral part of biological semiosis: Nature’s ongoing contemplation of itself, it’s offering of itself to itself, which began long ago with the first Sign… some say that the most fundamental recognition of a sign involves the perception of pattern, and concomitantly the ability to perceive the space between, the Nothing. And so is not the beat of the drum, our choral response to the mystery of our own heartbeat, the primal mimicry of the punctuation of life with oxygen, blood, semen… is that not the most elemental form of worship of all? Baptism, sacrifice, consumption, ordination all become one. Darshan, both seeing and being seen by the deity simultaneously, is the rule of the dancefloor, where hundreds of animated statues apprehend each other, and speak in a kinetic language of libations, but there is no center, no most holy icon. Mundane objects become icons. There is a theophany of the everyday, the quotidean, and this vision will never leave you, it will dart out occasionally into your unsuspecting surroundings, and out of the corner of your eye the concrete world will dance, as the trees do, as worlds are supposed to. You will meet Pan on the dancefloor and he will have now the face of a demon, now the face of an angel. He’s almost too intense for you—you get the sense watching him that if it’s possible for him to die he will die on the dancefloor, slain by the Word, burst apart at the atomic seams, because having a body obstructs the perfect dance, which is unity, immolation. How to possibly appease such a God? But your terror wanes into the realization that he is a veritable monk of the dance: he is merely carrying out his cosmic function, his duty to all creation. Time passes and he continues to keep the vigil, somehow, guarding his people from demons and evil spirits.

You turn towards the same altar, for the thousandth time.

(By the way… He felt the same way about you, too.)

Who would have guessed that the sound of the angelic choir is so machine-like? But this machine is a sub-woofing Ark, a weapon of mass instruction, a praying-mantis midwife with metal hands that gives birth to the world anew at the flip of a switch, it breaks down the dichotomy of good and evil, human and machine, organic and inorganic for a living, and it takes you along with it.

"There is no such thing as fiction"

-Alex Grey

No comments: