Seumboy Vrainom is an Off-Ground activist. Not uprooted but well out of soil, like some plants cultivated in the colonial agronomy garden near Paris between 1902 and 1965. Pure heir of the French colonial history, he grew up in Luth, a housing estate in the Paris region, on the 13th floor of a tower, floating in the virtual. Faced with a difficulty to reclaim the land, he naturally immersed himself in digital space. "At a time when the local and ecology constitute large parts of the political spectrum, what place is left for the Off-Ground? This is the question I try to answer in my journey. By investing the space in which I have my roots I have my roots : the digital space. For 5 years I have presented myself as a digital shaman apprentice. The apprenticeship has not yet come to fruition and my research has led me to use the term "Out of Ground Activist" both as a provocation and as the affirmation of a political position." Torn between technological singularity and the collapse of thermo-industrial society, he advocates for a decolonial ecology.
Prayer to the Wifi - AfriKIKK
How can we enter into communication with an entity that is present but imperceptible to our biological human senses? There is prayer. A mode of dialogue that does not expect an audible response but is structured, with clear addresses and polite formulas. Drawing on its evangelical Christian cultural heritage, Seumboy has chosen to offer a prayer addressed to WIFI.
His aim is not blasphemy. He does not consider WIFI as a form of divinity. This proposed address to a present but imperceptible entity aims to shift our view of what WIFI is and the relationship we have with this computer protocol.
This prayer hints at contemporary concerns at the beginning of this century by mentioning police violence, social networks and dependence on digital social activity. Graphically, Seumboy cites sites such as the giant Pornhub or the Mozilla Firefox browser and its management of internet tabs. Sonically, he uses only his voice transformed by a vocoder available on a smartphone.
This prayer exists in the form of a video available online. Seumboy also offers performances at cultural events by varying the lyrics.
Smartphone Care - AfriKIKK
What if we consider the smartphone as an artificial organ allowing Homo Numericus to perceive the digital space that is omnipresent but imperceptible by the rest of his senses?
In this logic, Seumboy organises care sessions. He receives people from the public individually, one after the other, for about 20 minutes. They discuss their relationship with this digital organ. Seumboy does not keep records of this moment. He simply takes notes on an A5 booklet and gives them to each person at the end of the treatment. This treatment is a way to change the perception we have of our smartphones while becoming aware of the deep intimacy we share with these digital organs.