Under the Marvelous Circuit Tree

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Under the Marvelous Circuit Tree

Explore technological practices through the lens of mythical structures as a tool to disrupt the western imaginary and logic!

By Tasmeem 2022, Radical Futures

When and where

Date and time

March 9, 2022 · 9am - March 10, 2022 · 12pm +03


VCUarts Qatar Room 281 Doha, Al Rayyan Municipality Qatar

About this event

Two-day in-person Masterclass by Islam Shabana (interdisciplinary artist and a digital media designer)

  • 9th March & 10th March 2022, 9 AM – 12 PM
  • Room 281
  • Upon Registration Only

This workshop explores various technological practices through the lens of mythical/irrational structures as a tool to disrupt the western imaginary and logic. Through discussions and experimentations, we will trace speculative narratives of technology and machinery back to premodern cosmologies.

In Islamic traditions, occult practices depend heavily on a numerology known as “Al-Jafr,” the science of numbers claimed to be taught by Imam-Ali. The simple idea is that numbers are stored in the time/space fabric of the universe and can be called on to represent different elements. For example, the planet’s moves and positions that can be calculated based on its rotation reveal astrological information. It is believed that by using rational mathematics, you can calculate such physical elements, as well as calculate and manipulate other spiritual or mystical elements that are in control of or connected to the physical world.

Al-Awfaq, also known as “magic squares” are algorithmic structures used to carry out such calculations. They are believed to process and channel mystic powers in order to manifest them in a physical form. These algorithmic squares are the base of any talisman’s drawing on material varying from paper to animal skin and plant leaves. The talisman is the code that embodies the non-physical calculation of mystic power/energy/information.

Computer machines are built of a combination of circuit boards made out of silicon, ceramics, copper, gold, and other materials. These circuits run by regulating electrical signals using mathematical algorithms that define certain rational processes in order to calculate specific operations, and deliver logical results. To define and write such algorithms you have to code and embody them inside the material part (the circuit).

Participants should have basic knowledge of creative coding and prototyping tools such as Touchdesigner, processing, openFrameworks, etc., and are required to bring their laptops or tablets with 2D or 3D visualization software installed.

This event is an in-person event for the VCUarts Qatar community only.

About the organizer

The 2022 conference Radical Futures addresses the role of design in shaping the future. Tasmeem Doha 2022: Radical Futures is an inclusive and multi-faceted view of the future, one that not only speculates on technological advancements—but on future threats and changes whether environmental, geographical, cultural, or social. Now more than ever, we must ask pertinent questions, raise critical dialogues, and respond with clarity.