Shamanism, Art and Digital Culture: Cause and Effect

This paper explores the postmodern [quasi] shaman/artist and the potential of shamanism as a therapeutic tool benefiting and curing our ´online` culture in order to maintain their audience in the ´offline` world. A rising number of people no longer retain their place in just one physical world whereby they challenged our contemporary understanding of physical reality. Virtual Reality [VR] or cyberspace will be our new medium for education and dissemination of information.  While there have been recognizable benefits to society from the digital revolution, especially in terms of the accessibility of information, there are a number of concerns. Despite a flood of data and the use of personalized information systems problems of this world would remain unaffected. Discourse about various anxieties and neuroses that are growing out the use of digital technologies will be considered. At the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century our ´burn out society` suffers increasingly from neurological diseases such as depressions, ADHD, BPD and burn-out syndrome. Solutions have to be found how to get online and offline culture into balance.

Table of Contents

Abstract ……………………………………………………………………………………………………. 1
Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 2
1. Chapter One: The Role of the Shaman in Western Art and Culture: A Historical Outlook ………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
1.1 Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………… 5
1.2 The Attendance and Principles of Shamanism through the Lens of Western Culture ………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 6
1.3 The Misconstructions of Noble Savages …………………………………………………… 8
1.4 An Unusual Relationship: The Occult, Theosophy and Modern Art ……………….. 8
1.5 Steiner´s Heritage ……………………………………………………………………………….. 12
1.6 The Influence of Shamanic Principles in Science …………………………………….. 16
1.7 Conclusion Chapter 1 …………………………………………………………………………… 19
2. Chapter Two: The Heritage of the Shaman: Controversies on the Re- spiritualization in Art and Critical Theory………………………………………………………….. 20
2.1 Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………. 20
2.2 The Creative Heritage of the Shaman:
Through the Eyes of Shaman/artists ……………………………………………………………. 21
2.3 The Creative Heritage of the Shaman:
Through the Eyes of Critical Thinkers ………………………………………………………….. 28
2.3.1 The Stone Age, the Art and
the Science of Program ……………………………………………………………………….. 28
2.3.2 ´Homo Electronicus` vs. ´Homo Digitalis` ……………………………………….. 31
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2.3.3 The Power of Codes ………………………………………………………………….. 33
2.4 Conclusion Chapter 2 …………………………………………………………………………… 34
3. Chapter 3: Digital Culture and Ideologies: Identifying the Function
of the Shaman Artist in Virtual Reality …………………………………………………………….. 36
3.1 Introduction …………………………………………………………………………………………. 36
3.2 The Order of Cosmic Engineers …………………………………………………………….. 37
3.2.1 Virtual Ideologies ………………………………………………………………………… 37
3.2.2 The Politics of Vision and Sound ………………………………………………….. 42
3.3 The Cybershaman and Contemporary Art ……………………………………………….. 46
3.4 Conclusion Chapter 3 …………………………………………………………………………… 50
4. Final Conclusion ……………………………………………………………………………………. 51
Appendix: Semi Ryu. Visual Essay Screenshots, You Tube. International Seminar: Transmedia Literacy Barcelona ……………………………………………………………………… 54
Bibliography ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 58

For the entire essay incl. footnotes please feel free to download following PDF File
Detlef_Schlich_THESIS-PDF

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