Hacked Meditation

Tamara Lašič Jurković
Tamara Lašič Jurković
Hacked Meditation

10 March – 2 April 2021

Aksioma | Project Space, Ljubljana

Part of U30+ production programme for supporting young artists

In recent years, taking care of ourselves has become a norm for presenting ourselves as responsible, exemplary individuals in contemporary society. As a result, meditation has become a recipe, not only for overcoming all types of mental distress but also for achieving harmony in our relationships. New age meditation represents a key to a perfectly balanced life, as it suggests that we are responsible for our own happiness and that it depends only on how we perceive ourselves and the surrounding world. It shows us how to calm down and disregard all the unpleasant thoughts running through our mind. With every breath, we take in positive energy, and with every exhale, we get rid of negative emotions such as feelings of anger, stress, tension, dissatisfaction, sadness and despair. But in this way, we also suppress what enables us to question the state of things. In her book Izbira (Choice), Renata Salecl writes: “In today’s crisis and uncertain times, the ideology of positive thinking plays a key role in concealing the need to rethink the nature of social inequality and search for alternatives to the way developed by capitalism. When individuals start to believe that they are masters of their own fate and when positive thinking is available as a panacea for all the misery they suffer due to social inequality, social criticism is increasingly more replaced by self-criticism.” [1]

Hacked Meditation works the opposite way by disrupting our notion of the self and undermining our anthropocentric belief about the exclusivity of the human being. Hacked Meditation is a guided meditation that encourages the meditator to think about what is (not) the meaning of being human if we are to acknowledge all the organisms that coexist with us. Scientifically speaking, a human being consists of 44% human cells and 56% non-human cells. Therefore, when we are thinking about ourselves, we are actually thinking about various other species which comprise an inseparable part of us.

Hacked Meditation helps us understand how dependent we are on natural systems and other biotic organisms. It makes us realize we are involved in the web of life – not the other way in which neoliberalism convinces us as being situated at the very top of the pyramid of life and entitled to exploit natural resources and pollute the environment to any end. Just like traditional meditation, Hacked Meditation encourages self-awareness on two levels: the body and spirit – but with a key difference: it opens a pluralistic view on both and in this way sparks a different attitude towards the world and our place in it. As Robert N. Watson says: “To understand life as – like Shakespeare’s last plays – a series of tragicomedies of separation and reunion, rather than a doomed struggle of the human self towards its own immortality, is a giant step toward an ecological sensibility.” [2]

The project is set as an immersive audio installation which intentionally avoids visual representation of its content, since it talks about microbial life invisible to the human eye and the hidden relations of power. The experience intends to spur contemplation and imagination as well as question prevailing beliefs and ideas, all of which are components that exist in our minds and are most easily accessible when we close our eyes and think.

[1] Salecl, R, Izbira, Cankarjeva založba, Ljubljana, 2010.

[2] Watson, R. N, Renaissance selfhood and Shakespeare’s comedy of the common, The Routledge Companion to the Environmental Humanities, Routledge, 2017.

Julia Karczewska

Tamara Lašič Jurković  (1994) obtained her master’s degree in industrial design in 2020 from the Academy of Fine Arts and Design, University in Ljubljana. In her work, she focuses on environmental and social problems of the 21st century and the role of design in their consideration. She seeks solutions in product, service, systemic and speculative design with an emphasis on co-creation, participation, open source and accessibility for the empowerment of individuals and communities. In the 2018/19 academic year, she took part in a student exchange program at the Academy of Design and Crafts in Gothenburg, where she began researching the theory of posthumanism in the context of design. As a co-curator, she participated in the conception of the exhibition Thinking the Conditions of Our Time, which was presented in 2019 at the 22nd Milan Triennial.


Author: Tamara Lašič Jurković
Mentors: Thomas Laurien (HDK-Valand, University of Gothenburg), Janez Janša
Sound editor: Julij Zornik

Aksioma – Institute for Contemporary Art, Ljubljana, 2021

Technical support:
Zavod Projekt Atol

Supported by:
the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia and the Municipality of Ljubljana

e-Bralec and partners Alpineon, Amebis, Institut Jožef Stefan

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