Joshua Madara

Electric Wizard

Thaumaturgike, is that Art Mathematicall, which giueth certaine order to make straunge workes, of the sense to be perceiued, and of men greatly to be wondred at. // John Dee

Joshua Madara is a digital and electronic occultist* and magician-computer interaction designer living in Seattle, Washington. His interests include the intersection of art, magic, and technology; magical objects and materia/media/machina magica; ritual as interaction and experience design; semiotics of magic and ritual; Sørensen’s cognitive theory of magic; sorcery, necromancy, and witchcraft from antiquity to the modern period; alchemy; psionics and radionics; data and information visualization and infographic arts (“making the invisible visible”); cybernetics and systems theory; robotics; new media art; maker culture; and describing himself in the third person.

The name hyperRitual was inspired by Theodore Nelson’s hypermedia and Jean Baudrillard’s hyperreality.

* Which just means I do much the same sort of thing as digital or electronic artists, but for primarily reasons of magic and occultism rather than aesthetic ones. However, for many social or practical purposes artist is a suitable label, and indeed magic has a long history of association and conflation with art and craft. See also: digital/electronic thaumaturge, technomancer, robomancer, cybermage, cyberwitch, et al.


Research Interests

I have three main areas of research:

  1. The combination of magical arts or the Art Magical with computer, digital, electronic, and new media arts. This is where most of my “technomancy,” “robomancy,” &c. stuff comes from, supported by the other two areas of research.
  2. Applied conceptual blending as a method for generating novel designs in ritual magic especially involving computer/digital/electronic/new-media technology. In this I am assisted by the works of Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner, Jesper Sørensen, and Manuel Imaz and David Benyon.
  3. The computation of magical thinking, in which I have been assisted by George Pólya’s and Edwin Thompson Jaynes’s works on plausible reasoning, of which there is much in the occult.

Current and Upcoming Projects

  • Advanced Technomancy for Beginners — Technomancy 101
  • — Ars Robomantica
  • — Modular Psionics

Interest Groups

Alchemy Guild; American Society for Cybernetics; Friends of the Boscastle Museum of Witchcraft; Illuminates of Thanateros; Rhizome; Societas Magica.