Posts tagged geomancy
Null Island is an imaginary island located at 0°N 0°E (hence “Null”) in the South Atlantic Ocean. This point is where the Equator meets the Prime Meridian. The concept of the island originated in 2011 when it was drawn into Natural Earth, a public domain map dataset developed by volunteer cartographers and GIS analysts. In creating a one-square meter plot of land at 0°N 0°E in the digital dataset, Null Island was intended to help analysts flag errors in a process known as “geocoding.”
Akin to the psycho-geographical derive, we walked through electromagnetic and coding territory, to observe what we would find rather than seeking out. Our actions, a form of contemporary geomancy, concentrated on the interacting signals between the atmosphere, the ground, and ourselves – all potential sites of transmitting, receiving, disrupting, and originating signals. Unlike outright divination, the more general category of scrying is a system for asking questions without solutions.
Through exploratory field trips that focused our attention down into the earth, we opened a window into a world of telluric currents and fugitive radio waves that normally would remain unnoticed or inaudible. This was achieved through iterative, performative processes in the field: at one point, we plunged a circuit board into the soil to listen for what the earth (and a few worms we found there) might have to “say:” the currents thus detected were fed directly into a computer where they were “translated” via Python program into letters and spaces of the English alphabet. This process resulted in a “worm poetry.” This process quite literally returns circuitry to the earth from which it once came, in effect inducing the earth (and its intimate inhabitants, worms) code itself.