Divination, media, and the networked body of modernity



In this article, I shed light on linkages among neoliberalism, technology, modernity, postmodernity, and cultural practice. I analyze divination, for example, evil-eye exorcism and coffee-cup reading, and related involuntary gestures of the body as practices of holistic, embedded, multisensory exchange in Greece. I show how involuntary gestures refract and register the impact of the social nervous system on the individual and become the media that, in turn, enable the reading of that nervous system. The concept of the “nervous system” originated with Michael Taussig as the sensorial somatic registration of both everyday life and the effects of the social structure. In this study, it is descriptive of involuntary gestures of the body as a form of intersubjective communication that is not part of the mass media apparatus or of dominant public culture. [divination, (post)modernity, media, body, involuntary gestures, sensory exchange, remediation]