Eastern Bloc

Workshops 2015-2016


Re-Creating Apocryphal Technologies
Given by Jamie Allen & Shintaro Miyazaki, in the context of BPLTC II
7 November, 2015, 1pm - 4pm & 8 November, 2015, 10am - 4pm
Price: $30
To reserve your place, please email lab@easternbloc.ca
Warning, 10 participants max

The technological presents itself as the forward image of our desires, and these projections often cause us to hide what should be resolute disappointment or dissatisfaction. Often things that don’t work simply must, as we’ve invested so much time, effort, emotion and money in them. (We would feel rather silly admitting how cumbersome and dysfunctional our new laptop is, after spending several thousand dollars on it… yet it still can’t connect to the printer!). This rather legitimate disappointment we moderns often hide from ourselves is part of what makes all technologies in some sense ‘apocryphal’: dubiously authentic, spuriously reliable, and suspectly ‘functional.’ All thinking is speculative, and technologies absorb this speculation: from truth telling, to bodily enhancement, to cognitive amplification.

One area where this apocryphal promise of technology and media is most detectable, is where it intersects with the speculative promise of the psycho-technologies and media of religion and spiritual practice. Focusing on the example of the E-meter, an electrical instrument used in Church of Scientology ‘audits’, Jamie Allen and Shintaro Miyazaki will host a practice-based workshop that will inquire into the heterogeneous discourses this circuitry has provoked. Through making, workshop participants will analyse and determine ‘real’ function. Each participant will make their own (Scientology™) E-meter, and in the process better understand the over-coded, apocryphal, technological imaginary that has been built around it.

DAY 1 (Nov 7)

Introduction to participants
Introduction to instruction

Measuring the body — physiology / metrophysiology
Explanations of different biosignals / psychology / criminology / lie detection
Cybernetic and Scientology
Media Archeology of the E-Meter (L Ron and its development, etc.)

Distribute the kits and explain the hardware that will be made the following day

DAY 2 (Nov 8)

Auditing / Scientology practices around the E-Meter

Explanations of circuit
Building the E-meter


Final circuit boxing

Outside ‘audits’ of the general public