Maya Hackers promotes research and development of projects at the interface between art, social design, ecology and sustainability.
Maya Hackers produces collective experimental art works in public spaces to promote the Maya Hackers projects and implied concepts.
The short term and local goals of the project aim to create bridges, to provide a way for Guatemalan people to approach the Mayan cultural and genetic heritage, on a neutral ground far from the heavily charged stereotypes created by the colonization procedure. And in this way the project lies at the heart of the unsolved problem of creating a “Guatemalan” identity.
The long-term philosophical goal of Maya Hackers is the preservation of Bio Diversity and Cultural Diversity, on the grounds that interconnected diversity is what gives rise to emergent phenomena such as life, culture, science, techniques, memes, etc. In the same way integrated information is what gives rise to consciousness.
Although Maya Hackers refers to the Mayan culture and the local Guatemalan situation, the ideas can be applied directly to other colonial societies, but also have a global relevance since corporations have successfully applied the colonization techniques to the world population.
The ancient divide and conquer has been applied to the extreme producing an “atomized” society of detached individuals in the centre of their own “universe” created specially for them by an ensemble of techniques driven by corporations.
FOOTNOTES AND SOURCE CODE:
THE DUTCH DESIGN WEEK AND THE EINDHOVEN EXPERIMENT.
Maya Hackers designs ritual objects, not to be considered by themselves outside the context for which they have been designed, because its purpose is not design by itself, but to provide an answer to a question, solution to a problem, to create a link between two disconnected things.
This article by American sociologist Diane Nelson talks about the way Mayan Cultural groups have Re Programmed the meaning of words and created new terms in colloquial language to change long standing prejudices in Guatemalan society. It shows an excellent view of the process of construction of a national indigenous identity, and how it fails to embrace the population that tries to deny their cultural and ethnic heritage to avoid racism and discrimination. This has inspired many Maya Hackers projects and the idea of Re Programming the collective imagery. The name was hacked by Guatemalan writer Alan Mills to represent these collective efforts of re-programming. [BACK]
The ritual object acts as a catalyst accelerating a hidden potential to manifest itself, and it can be anything, from a stone monument to the scent of a perfume, the sound of a new instrument, an educational program, a documentary film, sound recording, clothing, etc. Every situation that needs to be intervened may require a totally new object, performance or ritual action.
These objects are created (or destroyed) for the purpose of re creating experiences that lead the individual trough a process of changing the point of view, re-evaluation, assimilation, re programming of meanings, etc. [BACK]
This is possible because shamanic practices assume everything is interconnected and is animated by a soul that is susceptible to illness, and healing. And this fits well with the actual state of development of the ensemble of all techniques, where a change in one technique generates changes in many others, and where the purpose and function of an object is determined by an immaterial set of constraints imposed by the system (such as moral, economical, political, racial, cultural, etc).
Therefore if you equate the soul of the mystics with this emergent system property of a network (Synergy) you see that it is not a farfetched idea, and you understand why the shamanic practices are in use since many thousands of years.
A meme, or a technique, like a gene, will spread onto new generations if it does provide an advantage. And shamanic practices do their job, regardless of the explanations given to them. [BACK]
Ancient civilizations discovered that the psyche of the individual projects out to the social nature of the collective, giving an organic structure to a society. Some rites are carried in public for the population to engage in Re enactments of portions of their History, philosophy, mythology, etc. To induce a collective state of mind. The Psycho Ritual technique used by Cristóbal Jodorowsky is a contemporary example of the way this re enactment can be used to re-program a traumatic event.
(modern powers have their own rites with different names). [BACK]
In this era many people define themselves by the products they consume, clothing, music, books, art, etc. And so the Maya Hacker projects seek to create consumption design products that sell because or their functionality, but contain the message we want to convey. [BACK]
Mayan culture has resisted more than 500 years of brutal abuse and repeated attempts to destroy it, and some of these memes that remain, can be traced back to many civilizations, even before the Mayan, and therefore are very interesting to study when we consider social design. [BACK]
Techniques such as to divide the population, avoid their technical development and access to science, the elimination of leaders and virtuous people, repress all forms of organization, and many others, but one I want to single out is the creation of a social class of people, of the same genetic type as the original population, but with the culture of the colonizing country, to serve as intermediaries between the oppressed population and the foreign corporations exploiting the country, because this is the focal group of the short-term goals in the project.
Those are ancient techniques, described already in The Art of War by Tzun Tzu, or the Politics by Aristotle, and have been applied successfully trough millennia, but they have also evolved in different directions, and they have been applied to the whole world population by the transnational corporations. [BACK]
The wrong interpretations of Darwin ideas leading to the “survival of the fittest” and to consider evolution as progress in a one dimensional view of the universe are the cause of many system diseases of our modern society including the extremely wasteful “economical” system. [BACK]
The main problem about these colonial societies is that are located near the most Bio diverse ecosystems and the mindless exploitation of people and natural resources eventually will destroy the remnants of those ecosystems. [BACK]
Life is the most valuable thing we have on earth, this should be evident to everyone, but even the most successfully brainwashed should understand that this is not a poetic or ideological statement. Four billion years of evolution has produced a vast, astronomically huge amount of chemical products, solutions to environmental problems, engineering problems, design problems, etc. that we are only beginning to explore. If we loose the bio diversity there is no way we can get it back, other than waiting some millions of years.
Life on earth has been trough 5 massive extinctions that reduced a highly rich ecosystem to very few species of animals and plants. And every time recovers to form a very bio-diverse ecosystem. And so, our human activities, even if we manage to wipe ourselves out this planet, will matter little for the history of life in this part of the universe. [BACK]
We know how modern national identities have been designed by the execution of an assembly of techniques, including propaganda, education, advertising, creating heroes, monuments, myths, laws, institutions, symbols etc. Corporations inherited those techniques and nowadays people define themselves by the products they like. [BACK]
Integrated Information Theory by Giulio Tononi defines consciousness as an emergent synergic property of integrated information, and it is the difference in the information carried by the sum of the parts, and the information implied by the whole. [BACK]
By Jaques Ellul is a book on the theory of Techniques as they are at the present state of technology, which differs qualitatively from early stages of development, at the moment that the ensemble of techniques acquire internal entanglement, giving rise to the emergent synergic properties of automatism. [BACK]
How The Corporatism Conquered The World, and How We Can Take It Back. By Douglass Rushkoff. The book explains how we’ve become disconnected from our world and from one another, and how to come back to a real and human-scaled society. It is very interesting to see that many of the solutions proposed are similar to practices that are still present in indigenous societies around the world, and certainly in the ancient civilizations. This doesn’t mean a return to an old and less developed state, instead, this shows that those techniques are very natural and get rediscovered all the time, everywhere, and we should pay attention with different eyes. [BACK]
The maya hackers are decoding and re programming familiar binary opposites such as ancient and modern, indigenous and cosmopolitan, past and future, mysticism and logic, the scientific and the spiritual.
The general purpose of the projects is to revert the instructions to enslave a population given by Aristotle in his “Politics” (chapter IX) in discussing the means to preserve a tyranny. Basically the projects aim to create mutual confidence, to give recognition to people, to spread culture, promote collaborations, create symbols of identity, etc. [BACK]