These days, we consult our personal technology for almost everything. We look to our devices for communication, safety, knowledge, and even love. As our personal technology evolves to offer us more, it inevitably slips into a sort of mystical, almost spiritual quality for the end user. When we summon it for a recipe, or a business phone number, it stretches far and wide into an infinitely vast sea of bits and bytes. For the end user, this is practically a spiritual realm. The network of data is so vast, its size becomes almost inconceivable. We alone do not have the power of communicating with this spirit world. For answers, we must turn to our devices; or translators.
The inspiration for this wonders upon the similarities between one’s relationship with personal technology, and the traditional practice of consulting Minkisi figures found in the Congo, for guidance and protection. The piece, which houses an iPad in a wooden frame, can be thought of as having been spiritually activated by the user with each nail that pierces its surface (I borrow this use of the nail as an activating force from traditional Nkisi Nkondi imagery). When the user is ready to consult the spirit world, he simply rests his fingers on the surface. Using emjois as an interpretation of millennial proverb-language, the symbols seem to emerge from his very own finger tips, revealing his fate.