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TheArtistsInstitute TommyJournal Spring2013

theboringmantra byPatriciaDominguez

1. OnceIaskedThomasBayrleifheconsideredhisworktobeamantra.Therepetitivepatternshecreatesmademe thinkofhisworkasaindustrialmantrathatpraystothemassiveproductionofgoodsaprayertolaborandto collaborativeproductiontheanonymouscontemporaryproductsthatwedailyconsume. Herespondedthathisworkwasntdeepenough. Thatitwasonlyasurface.Thatifitwouldbeamantra,itwouldbeaboringmantra.

AsWikipediasayswhentypingthewordmantrainthesearchboxofitsinterface,amantraisasacred combinationofsyllables,wordsorversethattransformsthepersonwhocontinuouslyrecitethem.Overandover andoverandoveragain.Itissaidthattheypossessmysticalandspiritualpowers.Mantrasmaybespokenaloud orutteredinthought,andtheymaybeeitherrepeatedorsoundedonlyonce.Mosthavenoapparentverbal meaning,buttheyarethoughttohaveprofoundsignificanceandtoserveasdistillationsofspiritualwisdom. Repetitionofamantracaninduceatrancelikestateandcanleadtheperformertoahigherlevelofspiritual awareness.But,doesamantraneedtobedeepinordertooperateinatransformativeway?Amantracanbe prettyboring.Butifyourepeatitamilliontimesitbecomessomethingelse.

TheKalachakraMantraTheInternetMantra

SomepeoplehaverelatedtheInternettoaspiritualpractice.FollowingKevinBewersdorfatthisRhizomeInterview, heidentifiedaspiritualaspectoftheactofsurfingintheweb.Wemakepilgrimagetothesamewebsitesat regularandrepeatedintervals,payinghomagetothembycontributingorpartaking,andthenwemoveontoour otherdailyneedslikeeatingandsleeping.Butallthewhile,wehavefaiththatthisplaneofinformationwehave becomesodependentonistangibleenoughtoprovideaworthwhileconnectedness.Formanyofus,thewebhas becomealmostsacred,itsritualuseistheembodimentofourspiritualneeds.SoIsupposethatmyconclusionis

this:surfingthewebcanbeafulfillingspiritualexperienceandadirectinteractionwithatranscendentreality.1 Thisspiritualaspectmightbepresentintheweb,butitisnotwhatinterestsmeinrelationtothemantra.WhatI findmostinteresting,istherepetitiveandtransformationalpowerofmundanewordsthatarebeingtypedoverand overagaininourelectronicdevices.Whatisthedifferencebetweensacredwordsandthewordsthatarebeing typedinourcomputers?IstheInternetcreatingamantrathroughourrepetitiveactionsandcontinuousflowsof information?ItisaninfiniteandmutablemantrathatkeepemergingfromtheInternet.Amantrathatis continuouslybeingactualizedinnewformationsandinnewinterfaces.

Wedon'tneedtobereligioustorepeatwordswithnomeaning.Currently,werepeatcertainwordsoverandovera dayinasortofadigitalritual.Everydaywelogintoouronlineaccounts.Inatrancelikeoperation,ourfingerstype ourpersonalmantras.Weallhaveseveralpasswords.Westartoffwithoneandlaterondistort,alterandrepeat them,transformingthemintodifferentversionsofthemselves.Individuallyorcollectively,severalcombinationsof wordsarebeingrecitedinourphones,computersandpads.Oursisasilentmantra.Ourmantradoesnthave sound.Itsalmostsilent.Itsaboringmantra.Itisnotasong,butithastherhythmandtheorderednoiseofa machine.Ithasa#hashtag.Ithasapassword.Ithasausername.Itcanbeonesentenceoritcangoviral.Yes. Wehaveviralmantras.Theycantravelthroughtimeandspaceinseconds.Onewordcanbetypedinonedevice andbecomeviralin45minutes.Thenitwillbetypedoverandoverbyhundredsoffingersinacity,acountry,and theworld.Zoomin,Zoomout.Millionsofpeopletypingthesamewords.Athousandhandsprayingatthesame timewhiletypingthesamecombinationofletters.Athousandeyeslookingatonequestionnightafternight.Your neighborstypingandtypingnextdoor.Onyourwholefloor,inthewholebuilding.Asilentmantrathatarousesfrom thecitiesatnight.Thousandsofcities.Onesimultaneousmantraforthewholeplanetthatisactualizeddaybyday. Anuniversalmantraisbeingtypeddaily. Theboringmantraisrecitedbyourfingersandeyes,notbyourthroats.Itisthecollectiveproductionofdesireand thereflectionofoursocietiesmaterializedintowordsthatarestoredinthementalrealmofthecyberspace.Zoom inandzoomoutanera.Whichisthemosttypedwordinonehour?Inaday?Inamonth?Inanyear?Inadecade? SincethebeginningoftheInternet? WevisitFacebook,Twitter,Google,Gmail,Hotmail,orNewYorkTimesalmosteveryday.Weestablishaparticular relationshipwiththembyaccessingthemthroughfixedbehaviours.Password?Compose?Search?Share? Comment?Likeit?Click.Ithasbecomearitualisticrepetitionofwordcombinationsandthemovementsofour bodies.Theinterfacesforcesustobehaveinacertainway.Totypecertainwords.Wekeepthosewordsinour headsduringtheday.Ritesarebeingcreated.Checkingouriphone,turningonourcomputer,openingthe browserandstartingtosurf.Composecomposecomposereplycomposereplyreplytrashreplyspamcompose compose.Hours,days,months,years,decades.

InterviewwithKevinBewersdorf,http://rhizome.org/editorial/2008/sep/3/interviewwithkevinbewersdorf/

Whatpatternsaretheseviralbehaviourscreating?Ikeeppressingbuttonsinmymind.Ikeeplikingthingsinmy head.Ikeepaskingmyphoneforinformation.

SincetheemergenceoftheInternetcertainwordshavebeentypedonourkeyboardsandhavebeenlookedaton ourscreens.50yearshasgonebysincecyberspacecameintoexistencethroughajoiningtogetherofvarious computernetworks.Itbecameabroadsocialphenomenonbetweenthe1980sandearly1990s.2Inthe2000sit wentviral.50yearsofsilentmantrasthathavebeentyped,lookedatandinvoluntarilythoughtaboutbythe21st Centuryuser.Theyslowly(orsometimesrapidly)becomeapartofourcollectivesensibility.Icansummarizean entireyear,anentireerathroughthemostsearchedwords.Theywillconstituteitsmantra.Thismantraisaunique strandinthefabricthatistheworldwideweb.Theyareuniquestrandsthatcometogethertoformaninformal historyoftheworld. Theboringmantrahasnothingtodowithspiritualitybutwithrepetitionwithtranceandmeditationwithritesand behaviours.Ithastodowithusingourfingersandeyes.AsAlexanderProvansaidinhisessayGestural Abstractions,Everyerahasitsinterface,andeveryinterfacedetermineshowwerelatetotheworldallthe fingertipsandeyeballsoftheworldareunitedasworkersintheeverywherefactoryoftheimage.3Theinterfaces ofoureraaredictatingmassivebehaviours,rhythmsandtonesthatweusetothinkaboutthings.TheInternet greatlyaffectshowwemakesenseoftheworldnowadays.Itsuseissopervasivearoundtheglobe,thatitis constantlygeneratingnewbehaviorsamongitsusersandestablishinganewrelationshiptotheproductionand sublimationofpersonalandcollectivedesires.TheInternetprofoundlyinterfereswithoursubjectivityasit transformsourperceptionofselfandbeing.

IthasbeensaidthattheInternetisvastinitssurfacebuthollowatthesametime.Youcansee,butforinstance, youcannottouchorsmell.YoucanbeinGermanywithyoureyesbutinNewYorkwithyourbody.Internetseffects aredeep.Theyhaveoutsideconsequences.Ittransformsitsusersbythecontinuousflowsofinformationthatare accessedbyeachperson.

2 3

AndreNusselder,InterfaseFantasy.ALacanianCyborgOntology,11. AlexanderProvan,GesturalAbstractions,ArtForum,April2013.

OmManiPadmeHumMantraGoogleLogo

2. Canacomputerpray?Aretheyprayermachines?Doesitmatterhowandwhatisbeingprayed?Ourscreensare totheoldmanuscriptsasthetypedletterinthekeyboardistothevoicesrecitingamantra.AsTibetanmonkswrote theirmantrasthousandsofyearsagointheHimalayas,wearecollectivelywritingmantrasinthetopologiesofthe Internetlayersandlayersofwebsitescanformmountainswherewereciteourmantras. AstheTibetanmantraOmManiPadmeHumcanhelptransformthespirituallevelofamonkandhelphim transcend,theInternetmantracantransformyourstatusandyouraccesstothevirtualrealm.Youcanalsoaccess information.Inthelastyears,thetransformativepowerofviralphrasesandvirtualcommandshavehadphysical andpoliticalimplicationstoo.Theyhavetransformedintophysicalmanifestations.Thousandsofpeople organizingthemselvesthroughonephrasetomeetoutsidetheweb.Hundredoffingersthatmeetinthevirtual realmthenmoveintothestreets.Theytoucheachother.Now,peoplethatwereconnectedthroughscreensare physicallytouching.Theboringmantraisnotthatboring.Itisasimpleword,butawordthatleadtosocial mobilizationsthroughitsmassiverepetition. InPoetryandFinance,FrancoBifoBerardiproposedusinguprisingasatherapy.Upheaval,uprising, insurrection,andriots:thesewordsshouldnotbeusedinamilitaristicsense...Theuprisingisnotaformof judgementbutaformofhealing.Acollectivemantrachantedbymillionsofpeoplewillteardownthewallsof Jerichomuchbetterthanapickaxeorabomb.4AsBifobelieves,thesemantrasthatappearedintheInternethelp toreactivatetheconjunctivebody,asaformoftherapyonthedisempatheticpathologiescrossingthesocialskin andsocialsoul.

TheboringmantraoftheInternetcandefinethespiritandmoodofparticularperiodsbyembracingitsideasand beliefs.Itisareflectionofthestateofmindoftheweb,ofourexperiences,andourdesires.

FrancoBifoBerardi,PoetryandFinance,133.

3. Googleisauniverseweinhabitnowadays.Weinhabititinatransversalwaybecausethevirtualandthephysical realmshavebecomeflexible,elastic,andjellylike.Googleisthebiggestmanuscriptofourtime.1.2trillion searchesperyear.146languagesused.Allourdigitalmantrasarecontainedthere.Althoughitbeganin1996,it wasntuntil2001whentheystartedpublishingthestatisticsoftheirtrillionsofsearches.AsMargareteRouse explains,Google5 waschosenforitsresemblancetothewordgoogolanumberconsistingofanumeralone followedbyahundredzeroes.Itisareferencetothevastamountofinformationintheworld.Googlehasorganized theinformationoftheworldintoitsowncosmology.Bylookingatthemostsearchedwordsofitsarchive,wecan seethebasicstructuresofthesemantras.

OmManiPadmeHumMantraGoogleLogo

Sofirst,therearepersonalmantras.Yourpasswordistypedoverandoverbecomingdistortedovertimebecause ofletterrestrictions.Evenifyoudontbelieveme,therearethousandsofpeopletypingthesamepasswords aroundtheworld.Daybyday.Thesamecombinationofkeys,thesamemovementoffingers,thesamelengthon thescreen.Wherearethesepasswordscomingfrom?Whatdotheydoinourpsyches?Howdotheydegenerate intootherversionsofthemselves?Whichisyourpassword?Howsimilarisyourownmantratothecollectiveone?

Themostrepeatedpasswordin2012where: 1.password 2,123456 3.12345678 4.abc123 5.qwerty 6.monkey 7.letmein 8.dragon 9.111111
5

MargareteRouse,http://searchciomidmarket.techtarget.com/definition/Google.

10.baseball 11.iloveyou 12.trustno1 13.1234567 14.sunshine 15.master 16.123123 17.welcome 18.shadow 19.ashley 20.football 21.jesus 22.michael 23.ninja 24.mustang 25.password1 Canyoureaditasamantra? password12345612345678abc123qwertymonkeyletmeindragon111111baseballiloveyou trustno11234567sunshinemaster123123welcomeshadowashleyfootballjesusmichaelninja mustangpassword1password12345612345678abc123qwertymonkeyletmeindragon111111 baseballiloveyoutrustno11234567sunshinemaster123123welcomeshadowashleyfootball jesusmichaelninjamustangpassword1password12345612345678abc123qwertymonkey letmeindragon111111baseballiloveyoutrustno11234567sunshinemaster123123welcome shadowashleyfootballjesusmichaelninjamustangpassword1password12345612345678 abc123qwertymonkeyletmeindragon111111baseballiloveyoutrustno11234567sunshine master123123welcomeshadowashleyfootballjesusmichaelninjamustangpassword1...

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TheMostsearchedwordtoday,May,Tuesday21st,2013is XboxOne. AnditsnewgameCallofDutyGhosts

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Themostsearchedwordsin2013sofar:facebookyoutubegooglefreeyouhotmailyahoolyrics gamesmail

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Googlemantrasingleword2012:facebookyoutubehotmailgoogleyahoogmailfbfacebooklogin ebayface

Googlemantralongterms2012:presidentoftheunitedstatesofamerica2012morgansbyersamazonwatchtv onlinedogsbusinesswhitepagescnnhotsonglyricsteenyangels

Googleglobalrankingmantra2012:WhitneyHoustonGangnamStyleHurricaneSandyiPad3Diablo3 KateMiddletonOlympics2012AmandaToddMichaelClarkeDuncanBBB12(don'tsearchforthis,it'sa terribleBrazilianshow,apparently).

Googletrendsmantra2012:FacebookYouTubeCraigslistFacebookloginFacebook.comYahooebay http://www.facebook.comMapquestAmazon

TwitterMantra2012:theitoaandisinityouoftinyurl.comforonmysonthatatwithmedo havejustthisbensoaremnotwasbutoutupwhatnownewfromyourlikegood

Hasthagtwittermantra2012:#Moscow#arsenal#takemeout#freedom#nadarkhani#whatimissmost #arabidol#waystogetoffthephone#tweetforyoucef#twalculate

HashtagsGoogle+mantra2012:#SOPA#Awesome#Sandy#IO12#Curiosity#Olympics#SXSW #Debate#BlastFromThePast#Eastwooding

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2011:RebeccaBlackGoogle+RyanDunnCaseyAnthonyBattlefield3Iphone5AdeleFukushimaSteve JobsIpad2

Hasthagtweetermantra2011:#egypt#tigerblood#threewordstoliveby#idontunderstandwhy#japan #improudtosay

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2010 chatrouletteipadjustinbiebernickiminajfrivmyxerkatyperrytwittergamezerfacebook 2009 michaeljacksonfacebooktuentitwittersanalikanewmoonladygagawindows7dantri.com.vntorpedo gratis 2008 sarahpalinbeijing2008facebooklogintuentiheathledgerobamanaszaklasawerkenntweneuro 2008jonasbrothers 2007 iphonebadoofacebookdailymotionwebkinzyoutubeebuddysecondlifehi5clubpenguin 2006 bebomyspaceworldcupmetacaferadioblogwikipediavideorebeldemininovawiki 2005 MyspaceAresBaiduwikipediaorkutiTunesSkyNewsWorldofWarcraftGreenDayLeonardodaVinci 2004 britneyspearsparishiltonchristinaaguilerapamelaandersonchatgamescarmenelectraorlando

bloomharrypottermp3 2003 britneyspearsharrypottermatrixshakiradavidbeckham50centiraqlordoftheringskobebryanttour defrance 2002 spidermanshakirawinterolympicsworldcupavrillavignestarwarseminemamericanidolmorrowind warcraft3natalieportmandungeonsiegetrillianlasketchupneverwinternightsbattlefield1942pink garethgatesloftstory2ikea

2001 nostradamuscnnworldtradecenterharrypotteranthraxwindowsxposamabinladenaudiogalaxy talibanloftstoryafghanistannimdaamericanairlinesamericanflagaaliyah fbikazaalordoftheringslordoftheringsxbox

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TheUniversalMantra (ThemostsearchedwordsinthehistoryoftheInternet) AcademyAwards,Alltheweb,Altavista,AlyssaMilano,Amateur,Amazon,AmericanExpress,AmericanMusic Awards,Ampland,AndreaThompson,AngeliaJolie,AnimatedGraphics,AnnaKVirus,AnnaKournikova,AOL, Apartments,Applet,Asian,AtkinsDiet,AttilatheHun,Auctions,AustinPowers,AustralianOpen,Automobiles,AVI BackstreetBoys,Bands,Barbie,Baseball,Beach,BeanieBabies,Beatles,Bible,BigBrother,Bikinis,Blackand White,BlackHistoryMonth,BlairWitchProject,Blink182,Blink182,BMW,Books,BradPitt,BradleyChait,Britney Spears,BrookeBurke,BruceLee,BuffytheVampireSlayer,Business CapitalPunishment,CarmenElectra,Cars,Casinos,Cats,CDRoms,Celebrity,Census,Charlie'sAngels,Chat, Cheats,ChineseNewYear,ChristinaAguilera,Christmas,ChronoCross,Chyna,CindyCrawford,CindyMargolis, ClaireSwire,Classified,CliffNotes,ClipArt,CocaCola,Codes,CollegeFootball,Colleges,Compaq,Computers, CookieRecipes,Costumes,CoyoteUgly DaleEarnhardt,DarvaConger,DavidBlaine,DayoftheDead,Daytona500,DeanKamen,DeathPenalty,Denise Richards,Destiny'sChild,DetroitAutoShow,Diablo2,Diet,Digimon,DigitalCameras,Disney,Diwali,DMX,Dogs, Domains,Download,Dr.Dree,Dragonball,Dreamcast,DrudgeReport,DVD ECards,Easter,EBay,Election2000,EllisIsland,Eminem,EmmyAwards,Entertainment,Excite Family,Fans,FastSearch,Father'sDay,Female,FinalFantasy,FirestoneTires,Flowers,Fonts,Food,Footand

MouthDisease,Football,Ford,Free,FreeGames,Freebies,FreeNet,Freeware,Friends,FTP,Fun,Funny Games,GeenaDavis,Genealogy,Getaway,Gladiator,Gnutella,Go,GoldenGlobes,Golf,GolfClubs,Google, GoTo,Graduation,GrammyAwards,GreekMythology,GreetingCards,Grinch,GroundhogDay,GundamWing, Guns HalfLifeCounterStrike,Halloween,Hannibal,HarleyDavidson,HarryPotter,Health,HewlettPackard,History, Holocaust,Honda,Horoscopes,HotBot,Hotels,Hotmail,Houses,HowardStern,Humor IanThorpe,Icons,ICQ,Infoseek,iMesh,Internet,InternetExplorer,IRS,Israel&Palestine,IT/Ginger Java,JenniferLopez,JenniferLoveHewitt,JessicaAlba,Jewelry,Jobs,JoeyRamone,Jokes,JustinTimberlake KidRock,Korn LaraKroft,LasVegas,LeonardoDiCaprio,LimpBizkit,Lingerie,Links,Linux,LoftStory,LookSmart,Lordofthe Rings,LovePoems,LoveStories,Lycos,Lyrics Mac,MadCowDisease,Madonna,Magazines,Majora'sMask,Male,Maps,MardiGras,MariahCarey,Marijuana, Marketing,MarthaStewart,MartinLutherKingJr.,Matrix,Mcafee,MelbouneCup,Men,MercedesBenz,Metallica, Metasearch,MGM,MichaelJordan,Microsoft,MicrosoftXBox,Midi,MIR,MIRC,MissWorld,MoonLanding, MortgageRates,Mother'sDay,Movies,MP3,MSN,MTVAwards,Music,MusicVideos, 'NSync,Napster,NASA,Nascar,NBA,NCAABasketball,NEARShoemaker,Nelly,Net,Netscape,NewYear,New YorkMets,NewYorkTimes,News,Newspapers,NFL,NicoleKidman,NikiTaylor,Nintendo,Nostradamus,NY Yankees Olympics,Online,OpenDirectory,OprahWinfrey,Oscar,OTown,OutlawStar,OutlookExpress PaintShop,PamAnderson,PamelaAnderson,Panasonic,Paranormal,Paris,Passwords,PaulaJones,Pearl Harbor,PenelopeCruz,Penthouse,People,PepsiCola.PeriodicTable,PersonalHomepages,Personals, Photos,Pictures,PlayBoy,Playstation2,Poetry,Pokemon,PokemonGold,PopMusic,Portalmix,Powerball, Pregnancy,Programs,PromDresses,PromHairstyles,PublishersClearingHouse Quotes,Quotation Radio,RalphNader,Ramadan,RapLyrics,RealAudio,Recipes,RickyMartin,RobertBlake,RockMusic,Rosh Hashana,RussellCrowe Sable,SailorMoon,Samsung,SantaClaus,Scholarships,ScienceFairProjects,Scooters,Screensavers,Search Engines,Shakespeare,ShaniaTwain,ShannonElisabeth,Shopping,SportsIllustratedSwimsuitIssue, Simpsons,Sims,Sites,Skateboarding,Snowboarding,Soccer,Software,SolarEclipse,Songs,Sony,SouthPark, SpiceGirls,Sports,SportsIllustrated,StarTrek,StarWars,Stars,StephenKing,SterlingMarlin,StockQuotes, SULFNBKVirus,SummerOlympics,Sun,SuperBowl,SuperBowlCommercials,Surfing,Survivor,Swimming Pools,Swimsuits TatianaGrigorieva,Tattoos,Taxes,Technology,Teen,Teletubbies,Television,TemptationIsland,TenchiMuyo, Tennis,Terra,Textbooks,Thanksgiving,TheBeatles,TheBible,TheBritishOpen,TheCensus,TheDeath Penalty,TheGrinch,TheHolocaust,TheIRS,TheNFL,TheOlympics,ThePerfectStorm,TheRock,The Simpsons,TheSims,TheUSOpen,TheWWF,TheXFiles,TheXMen,Titanic,TombRaider,TonyHawkPro Skater2,Tool,TourdeFrance,Toys,Travel,TupacSharuk,TV

U.S.PostalService,U2,UFOS,UniversalPictures,USA Vacation,Valentine'sDay,VerizonStrike,Videos,VietnamWar,Virtual,Virus Wallpapers,WarnerBrothers,Weather,Web,WebCrawler,Webs,Websites,Wimbledon,Winamp,Windows2000, WindowsMe,Winzip,Witchcraft,Women,WorldWarI,WorldWarII,Wrestling XFiles,XMen,XFL,XFLCheerleaders Yahoo,YellowPages,Young Zelda

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TheCenturyMantra SincethebeginningoftheInternet Inthedecadeof20002010 In2011 In2012 ThemostsearchwordinMay21st,2013 Themostsearchedwordat12:01am.

Theboringmantraisnotthatboringafterall.ItiscomprisedofallInternetuserscomingtogetherthroughacouple ofwordsthatcontainthecurrentstatusofourcollectiveconsciousness.Yes,itissilent,butithasthesoundofan electricdevice.Beforethephysicalsoundofourvoiceshadalotoftransformativepower,butnowthatpowerliesin thesoundofourfingershittingthekeyboards.Itisadifferentwayofspeakingandlisteningtoourselvesandone another.Weareintouchwhiletyping. Whatwillbe21stCenturyMantra?ThemosttypedwordintheCentury?Acombinationofrandomworldsthat cometogethertoarbitrarilysummarizeourera.