Situating the Web of the Necro-Techno Complex: The Church of Nano Bio Info Cogno Abstract

Praba Pilar


Performance art provides a vital arena for public critical discourse, as for the most part it remains beyond the usurpations of the capitalist art market. In this reflective and critical article, I approach my own performance art as an embodied research methodology which informs the performer as much as the audience. Over eight years, and in varied art spaces and public streets, I presented many performances as live ‘services’ of my fictitious church, the Church of Nano Bio Info Cogno. This article describes my satirical portrayal of the way that Silicon Valley technology corporations have adapted the ‘salvation narrative’ to proclaim a futurity of liberation. I argue that such salvation narratives instrumentalize the notion and practice of faith, which extends the history of extractive, exploitative colonialism, from the Doctrine of Discovery to the
present day. I analyze how the practices of data brokers such as Facebook, Google, and others, which form the global apparatus of surveillance capitalism, have consolidated power and knowledge to control the behavior and reality of human populations. In the process of achieving ubiquitous saturation, they are converting biological life across the globe into a necropolitical extrajudicial colony. This twenty-first century techno colonialism is the Necro-Techno Complex, a ruthless intensification of
exploitation, domination, and control. My performances as high priestess of the Church of Nano Bio Info Cogno incite critical public discourse about such domination and control, and foster resistance to the Necro-Techno Complex.

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