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SHAMANISM + CYBERSPACE By Mina Cheon
New media theorists, performance artists, media culture commentators, and politicians have celebrated life online-the virtual unknown-as shamanic, Eastern, mysterious, transformative, and exotic. SHAMANISM + CYBERSPACE shows that this rhetoric is actually a familiar version of the other, and that imperialism is at its core. This book combines postcolonial, deconstructionist, and performance theory to reread new media theory and shamanism itself, specifically in South Korea. It unravels and reweaves discourses on originary reproduction, confronting the proliferating violence in media and nationalism. Perhaps most radically, it proposes a new theory of "media mourning" to help us see and hear shamanism colliding with contemporary media art worlds, collapsing time and space, upending gender and racial categories, and confounding the boundaries between East and West. Most importantly, the book introduces a new opening toward instigating the impossibility of the other in philosophy while critiquing how shamanism is used to image the other in cyberspace culture. Mina Cheon (Korean-American), PhD, MFA, is a new media artist, writer, and educator who divides her time between Baltimore, New York, and Seoul. She is currently a full-time professor at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in Baltimore, teaching studio and liberal arts.