UrbanIxD Summer School

Techno Shaman

Techno Shaman is part of the Humanside series.



In the future, most things will be measurable. Data and statistics about people, their networks and the places they inhabit will be captured by personal devices, sensors and crowd-sourced data. There is an abundance of data and people are overwhelmed, unsure of trusting their own instincts and how to make sense of it all. When decisions and perceptions will be increasingly driven by data, what is the role of human judgment and intuition? Will we have to outsource these human abilities to a group of digital data diagnosticians who come from a pre-data dependent age and will be able to make meaning from everything we are overwhelmed by?



Techno Shamans wake up with the city at 8 a.m. every morning, opening up their scales in little niches of the city to bring human-ness back to data. These reliable avatars of trust ritualize the parsing of data from physical devices that store them. They are recognizable by their characteristic measuring devices from the past, repurposed to serve new measurement needs. These scales form a part of the Shaman’s ritual, accepting devices of data storage, capturing the weight of data, and allowing him to see meaning that lies hidden in between the bits and bytes.