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FleshFactor: Xingu

A E C  F O R U M - "F L E S H F A C T O R"

In May 1997, Roy Ascott spent a week in the jungle living with the Kuikuru
Indians in the Xingu river region of the Mato Grosso . With him were the
Brazilian artists, Diana Domingues, Tania Fraga, Gilbertto Prado and Maria
Luiza Fragoso de Taunay.  The Brazilian Government's Agency for Indian
Affairs, FUNAI, agreed to the visit and provided two light aircraft to fly
the group into the jungle. The visit was a part of the Shamantic Web


which has as its object the exploration of the relationship beween psychic
space and cyberspace.  (webmaster: tfraga@guarany.unb.br)

In addition to sharing the daily life, meals and ceremonies of Kuikuru,
Ascott was privileged to spend time with the shamans (the "pages" ) of the
tribe. This in fact was the prime objective of his journey to Brazil.
Later, in Brazilia, Ascott was initiated into the ritual of Santo Daime,
in which a congregation shares the ayhuasca, a tea combining a plant and a
vine, which induces an altered state of consciousness. 


we have smoked with the Page
Urubu was the bird that brought fire to Xingu..
we brought him cyberfire
he gave us the traditional dish of mandioca
we ate bijou
we brought him the satellite dish of telecom
the gift was a giff
he will weave his dreams into our net
we are emeshed in his space
his avatar is dynamic (he is jaguar)
the computador must not be a conquistador
our datastreams are tributaries of the Xingu

in the lake, toucan is seen best in reflection
all bodies leap, the fish are linear.
at the sacred shore, it's cool to let dead bones lie
shift the soil and you die

the shaman huffed and puffed
he entered the wormhole
his words came from the sky
click on any star
we spilled ashes on his laptop
he buried the twins alive
the unusual is unwelcome
mismatched is dismembered
around this plaza
only the best bodies survive
for Kuikuru, the fleshfactor is cybernetic,
seeking to embody
the perfectibility of systems
all else is wasted
(underfoot, the buried cries)

in the body of the text the word is made flesh
history  is painted in red and black
from the head down
around the neck and wrists, the teeth of wild voices
all souls have their ma'mae

they danced two days for no one's attention.
in the men's house, the flutes can be heard but not seen
the Jacui speaks through the body
(this too is the meaning of Macumba)
for the spirit to rise we must stamp the earth

we sought ayhuasca in the circle of Santo Daime
in another jungle
the soul of the plant de-computing each body structure,
dis-aggregation is palpable
as every molecule becomes a star, neuronal maps are unfolded,
all thoughts are light
the brain is a sky
heavily constellated
we throw up
we sought ayhuasca in the Union of Vegetal
it was inconspicuous
that way truth lies.

 Roy Ascott, June 1997


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