📚 Bibliographies: 001 – Talismans, animism, and NFT charms?
In which I think about magic, technology, and media
I’m co-presenting at a lecture next week on the mediafication of the supernatural. While doing research for it, I came across a couple of very interesting journal articles about Chinese shamans and talismans including Topley’s (1953) Paper Charms and Prayer Sheets as Adjuncts to Chinese Worship.
These paper charms, also called fulu in Chinese have a range of uses and I wondered if these could be/have been used in love spells.
I also found Reclaiming Animism (2012) by Isabelle Stengers thought-provoking. Despite my background in Science, I’ve had a penchant for magic and the mystical as well. Perhaps they don’t have to be so separate.
If you’re following new developments in media (like I am), you might want to subscribe to Casey Newton’s newsletter Platformer. In one of his latest issues, he writes about ApeCoin and how there’s “something off about it”. The piece asks one of the many questions I have about web3 and NFTs.
I’ve bought cryptocurrencies, been participating lurking in a number of web3 Discord communities, and minted a couple of NFTs. One question that often crosses my mind is this: What cultures and values are being reproduced in these online spheres?
I’m also waiting for the day when a shaman or bomoh uses NFTs as charms.
Maternities and modernities: Colonial and postcolonial experiences in Asia and the Pacific edited by Kalpana Ram and Margaret Jolly. (1998)
Sex Dolls at Sea: Imagined Histories of Sexual Technologies in which Bo Ruberg investigates and reimagines “the origin story of the sex doll through the tale of the sailor's dames de voyage.” (June 2022)