Clémentine Bedos

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Clémentine Bedos's MPhil/PhD Art project

Techno-Tantrik Embodiment: Navigating Oppression and Resistance Through the Creolisation of Ancestral and Emerging Technologies 

Drawing on my cross-cultural heritages and lived experiences as a queer métisse, this project sets my situated knowledges in resonance with Queer and Critical race theory; Black, Trans, Eco Feminisms and spiritual activism, bringing antagonist cosmologies into dialogue to create “un choque, a cultural collision” (Andalzúa, 1987).

Your Rage is Sacred (maa), 2023 - site-sensitive performance at Goldsmiths Sonics Immersive Media Lab (SIML). Clémentine Bedos in collaboration with Eunjo Lee, Seyi Adelekun, Chooc Ly Tan, Mohammed Rowe, Abhaya Rajani, Call Your Friends and Janhavi Sharma.

Standing against the “Techno–Heroic” or “the Killer story” – a collective undertaking characterised by the development of life-threatening tools that force energy outward (LeGuin, 1986), Techno-Tantrik Embodiment reframes technology as cultural practice (Harle &Abdilla, 2018) to delve into Tantra.

Rooted in an ontology of radical relationality, Tantra’s holistic practices emerged at a time of crisis in medieval India, offering new modes of empowerment through visualisation techniques that harness the transgressive power of the repressed and the taboo. Radically opposed to caste, class, and gender binaries, this life-affirming technological apparatus brings energy inward, leading to bodily and cognitive emancipation for all.

Similarly, this project aims to equip subaltern communities with analogous technologies, by creolising them with contemporary visualisation tools under the umbrella of extended reality (XR). It seeks to disrupt fixed ways of looking and stretch our imagination beyond the confines of Cartesian ocularcentrism–a regime of visuality that takes for granted its ontology of separation and prioritises the “eye/I” as a mode of knowing.

How can hegemonic technologies – technocultural expressions of the necropolitics of hetero-colonial patriarchy – be employed to safeguard and empower the communities marginalised and endangered by their operational logic? How can we, QTIPOC, alchemise these tools to reclaim ancestral worldviews beyond Western dualist rationalism? What types of engagement with image-based systems can support an embodied process of “derealisation” to heal from Modernity's double environmental and colonial fracture (Ferdinand, 2022)?

Through “performative repetition” (Butler, 1993) enacted through a continuum of practices in diverse environments, the project sediments images that counter the normalising force of stereotypes and binaries encoded within modernist technologies, and like a shaman, channels them through the individual and social body.

Rooted in an expanded notion of fieldwork where the “field” encompasses the human biofield and spaces where tantrik practices are enacted, the main public-facing aspects of this thesis are divided into two mutually supported branches as communicating vessels: 1) Kali Kula, a community centring QTIPOC voices, to imagine and build a common of spiritual practices that sustains and nurtures collaborators and communities, creating networks of care and solidarity, and serving as a research incubator for the development of new immersive performances; 2) mixed-reality (MR) performances enacting liberatory practices, enabling self-determination and self-actualisation for marginalised bodies of colour, operating a shift in perception and representation while opening space for wider audiences to experience an embodied transformation through their participation in the process.

Using opacity and Tantra’s reflexive force, it redirects aesthetic focus inward, reclaiming internal visuality as a site of emancipation and bliss. Aligning with a materialist or ontological turn, it illuminates the immanent dynamic force or agency (śakti) within all aspects of phenomena (Barad, 2007).


  • Dr Audrey Samson (Department of Art)
  • Dr Atau Tanaka (Department of Computing)