Technically Buddhist

By Megan Honsberger, XDM MA Graduate.

From the state which pioneered Zen Buddhism, California’s Silicon Valley has a new spiritual beacon: mindfulness. Technically Buddhist calls attention to the curious instances of technical products and experiences seeking to remedy the ‘disconnect’ of technoculture using decontextualized Buddhist philosophy and digital technology itself.

For this installation, an augmented reality app, 3D modelled Buddha, and traditional elements of a Japanese dry landscape garden embody the profound juxtaposition of situating the sacred within our screens. The interactive environment asks the user to respond using a variety of tools and devices, including and especially their own body/mind. As a technique, this project invites the user to find “Buddha in the Machine” (Williams) and reflect on their own digital rituals.

Special thanks to Swanson’s Home Hardware and Stone Landscapes for graciously donating materials for this project.