"Totems + Technology" ABC No Rio in Exile at Bullet Space

Jenn Dierdorf, GH Hovagimyan, Pam Payne, and Skawennati

How avatars, totems and other representations of the nonhuman help guide, inform and influence the relationship towards technology of individuals, communities and societies.

OPENING: Thursday May 14 at 7:00pm

SATURDAY MAY 23: Exhibition Viewing from 2:00 - 5:00pm
Artists discuss their work at 5:00pm, with Jenn Dierdorf, Pam Payne, and Skawennati

CLOSING RECEPTION: Wednesday June 3 at 7:00pm

Bullet Space, 292 East 3rd Street (bet. C+D), NYC
Exhibition viewing also by appointment: abc@abcnorio.org

Exhibition funded in part with support from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and the New York State Council on the Arts.

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Pam Payne: "Axis Mundi Mnemonoic- Artistic Expeditions of Consciousness"

Exhibiting Prints and Video Projection:

Axis Mundi Totem (prints) Axis Mundi Generator (video projection) Invocation of our Polyrhythmic Reality (prints)

Artists Statement
The Totem as Axis Mundi… (and Artistic Expeditions of Consciousness):
For me, artistic practice is an expedition of consciousness. I’m interested in practices and devices that facilitate a transformative shift in consciousness. In particular, creative practices and works that result in extraordinary peak performance abilities or inspired information. For the past few years I’ve been working with Yoruba ritual rhythms as code; as a structure for alternate forms such as visual works. I’ve also been creating video mnemonics based on the work of 13th century Raymon Llull whose concentric circle devices were used to access knowledge of the past and future. His work was based on a practice known as The Art of Memory, with roots in ancient Greece. In Lull’s time, “memory” was a function of conceptualizing both the past and the future, which as a Catholic, were believed to belong to the realm of the divine. Recently I’ve been looking at the practice of circumambulation – ritualized circling, often to gain access to an alternate realm, or shifted state of consciousness. Typically, the ritual is performed around an “omphalos”, a world-navel or center of the world, with a cord, world axis, or axis mundi bridging our world with alternate realms. Nearly every culture has some symbolic form of the axis mundi, and totems can certainly be thought of as a similar “mnemonic” device. While in some cultures of the past, the Axis Mundi would be fixed to a particular location. In our contemporary syncretic culture they are variable and dynamic, generated when and where needed. The prints and projection pieces I’m presenting in the Totems and Tech show are studies for contemporary mnemonic totems which I am developing for a master class in Delphi, Greece in January 2016 working title: "A Creativity and Consciousness Expedition", stay tuned.

Project Detail: "Axis Mundi Generator, Video Mnemonic" Virtually every culture throughout history has a metaphor for the axis mundi or world axis; a bridge linking the earth to heaven, or “normal” wakeful existence to alternate realms. Axis mundi symbols such as the Tree of Life, vines, poles, ladders and columns of light are thought to be metaphors that identify an actual experience of enlightened awareness. The axis mundi is said to mark the center of the universe, also called the omphalos or the earth’s navel, a portal of transcendence. There were several “navels” in ancient Greece, the most famous being the site of the oracle at Delphi who traversed the boundaries of time and space to access wisdom from alternative realms. Although some are fixed in a permanent location there are variations and associated practices which suggest an axis mundi, the bridge to enlightened awareness, can be generated virtually anywhere given the correct conditions. Circumambulation or the ritual movement in a circular pattern, sometimes around a sacred object or area, is a widespread practice that appears in various forms throughout history. One example is the ancient Irish ritual of circling sacred wells. A similar practice is the whirling meditation of the Sufi Dervishes. We currently have a unique opportunity to observe a relatively new circumambulation practice with reportedly similar cathartic effects; the creation of an axis mundi in the form a circle mosh pit at contemporary music festivals. While the correlation of rhythm and consciousness is generally accepted it is not well understood. Rhythm is repetitive pattern, and oscillation, or circular motion is the most basic rhythmic form. Why do we engage in this practice of immersion in rhythm and circular motion?

The piece exhibited during "Totems and Tech" is an adaptation of a work shown at the Cairo Di-Egy Exhibition in 2013: A digital video projection inspired by devices used to traverse the boundaries of consciousness in order to access perspective, insight and inspiration. It is a video "mnemonic" based on "The Art of Memory", and Raymon Llull's 13th century mnemonic wheels.
The project investigates the correlation of rhythm and consciousness and integrates Yoruba rhythms and exercises developed at Stanford University known to induce lucid dreaming - in this case adapted to generate "lucid wakefulness".

Video Sample: "CAiiA Cairo Circuit" Installation Documentation, Di-Egy Festival 2013

Project Detail: "The Invocation of our Polyrhythmic Reality" (prints from video installation) Visualization of Yoruba Ritual Rhythms for Ellegua, the Orisha at the crossroads between our world and the domain of the Gods; an investigation into the correlation of rhythm and consciousness; a request for permission to open a portal and enter an alternative state. Rhythm can be thought of as a code for the manifestation of any "form". The integrity of the Yoruba rhythms withstood transformation into American blues and subsequently rock and roll. This project wonders what, if any aspect of the rhythm will remain when transformed into visual material?

The Invocation of our Polyrhythmic Reality

Artist's Bio
Pam Payne is a transdisciplinary artist from the NYC metropolitan area, currently based in Brooklyn, NY. Her projects explore the transformative potential of artistic works and their impact on consciousness and culture. Her artworks include installations, performance, recordings and prints using digital and analog time-based media such as sound, video projection and code. Her projects have been awarded grants from NYSCA, LMCC, ETVC and The Puffin Foundation and her artworks have been exhibited and writing published in the US and internationally. A graduate of NYU’s ITP program in the 1908s, Payne is currently a PhD candidate in the Technoetic Arts, researching the correlation of rhythm and consciousness in post-digital culture with Roy Ascott at the Planetary Collegium, Center for Advanced Inquiry in the Integrative Arts (CAiiA), University of Plymouth, UK.

contact: Pam at brickhaus dot com

© 2015 Pam Payne. All rights reserved.