Eldritch Technology

The Coniunctio of Cybernetics & Sorcery

What is magic, that a machine may do it, and a machine, that it may do magic?

Someone once told me that machines will not be capable of magic until they can dream. This is part of my continuing exploration and critique of that assertion and its underlying assumptions.

ELDRITECH blends art, magic, and technology to innovate experiments in speculative sorcery. It is inspired by fictional technologies that interface between physical and metaphysical ontologies, such as the Krell mind amplifiers in Forbidden Planet and Tillinghast’s resonator in Lovecraft’s “From Beyond.” Proceeding similarly to Hero’s mechanics and Ian Bogost’s carpentry, Eldritech performs occult philosophy by way of making thaumaturgical artifacts, typically arcanomechanical devices and performances.

If a physician is someone who practices medicine, perhaps a metaphysician ought to be someone who practices ontology.

—Ian Bogost, Alien Phenomenology, or What It’s Like to Be a Thing

Eldritech is the research art enterprise of Joshua Madara a.k.a. tchnmncr. I am an occult technologist and techno-occultist studying technologies both “high” and “low” that mediate experiences of the ordinarily hidden or invisible worlds that occultism is about. I challenge popular and emerging assumptions about “high” and “low” technologies, “high” and “low” magics, magic qua technology, and technology qua magic. I work in mixed and multimedia, and although my works feature electronics and computers, I consider them part of the Great Work of all arcane Arts and Crafts (ars magica), being especially the reification of spirit via technē. My basic conceit is that anything, including computers and robots, can be a spiritual as well as creative medium, and a locus of encounters with the bizarre, eerie, grotesque, macabre, numinous, sublime, uncanny, and weird.

I invoke the ghost in the machine (without subscribing to Cartesian dualism), and explore the possibilities for mixed and recombinant media to assemble as vessels and portals, to haunt (be haunted, haunting) and enchant (be enchanted, enchanting).

Philosophically, my work is informed by postphenomenology, posthumanism, object-oriented ontology, and new materialism, as well as by the ways those philosophies corroborate or challenge occultism and are challenged or corroborated by it. Aesthetically, my work inherits chiefly from tech noir including elements of brutalist, cyberpunk, gothic, industrial, military, and technoscientific design, often combined with sacred art of diverse provenance; also avant-garde and experimental film, music, and theater (especially Antonin Artaud); and assemblage and altered objects.

Krell’s Last Dreaming is the Eldritech blog.

Instead of deducing that we are ‘nothing but’ machines, let us increase the mechanical world to embrace mystery.

—Ramsey Dukes (Lionel Snell), Words Made Flesh: Information in Formation