CyberShrine: MississippiNiger

Concept Text:

CyberShrine:MississippiNiger will be a virtual ancestor/spirit shrine devoted to the MississippiNiger composite river.

As object, construct, and medium, the cybershrine explores how fragment virtual identity interacts with the similarly networked and fragmented system of West African diasporic spiritualities. It extends ritual beyond physicality and eliminates geographic restriction. The cybershrine contains text, image, video, audio and algorithm. It is alive. It is constantly changing and reconfiguring itself. It reacts and responds to visitors. I plan on making the shrine an html site and writing some randomized algorithms in Java. I also plan on using both original and reappropriated text, image and audio/video.

The MississippiNiger composite river is a superorganism, an ancestor, a goddess that disrupts Western notions of linear history and geographic position. It is trans-Atlantic and simultaneously pre and post enslavement. It Mothers and engenders Black identity. By relating to and interacting with the MississippiNiger, the diasporic individual is able to extend themself beyond geography and “humanity”. It reorients and bolsters our ancestor worship. It also gives us a vocabulary to explore our Delta: the places where identity is fragmented and muddied most severely. The MississippiNiger is metaphysical, mechanical and organic; it loves, connects with and empowers its children.

Kai Ajamu Joy is a prose-poet and net artist based out of Chicagoland/ Minneapolis/ Oberlin. She is a biracial (Black/white) transgender woman. She grew up all over the city/suburbs of Chicago where she grappled with the messiness of racial identity, class division and gender confusion. At Oberlin college she has been able to take her confusion about identity/ violence and pair it with writing she had been doing since childhood. She is grateful for all of the opportunities she has been given.