​Art Perspective into Central Asia's Post-Socialist Era

​​photography, video installation,digital MULTIMEDIA


​​Almagul Menlibayeva


Umai III, 2021, 220x160 cm,

Cyber Textile, Weaving, Ed 3

Textile Umai is the post-digital incarnation of the Earth Goddess from Eurasian cultures in the contemporary era of the Digital Renaissance. Goddess Umai, like the Greek Earth Goddess Gaia or the Latin American Pachamama, represents the Earth and nature. At various stages of my art practice, I have created images of Umai in different techniques, especially in painting in the 1990s and in a series of felt works from 1990 to 1996. Now, as a digital entity, Umai has been transformed using modern textile art technology. It incorporates the color shades of the Caspian region's earth and the imagery of oil derricks.

Despite their seemingly disparate nature, both cyberspace and the Pagan Worldview share intriguing similarities. Within cyberspace, a multitude of 'worlds' exists, encompassing websites, social networks, and virtual realms, where individuals traverse boundaries reminiscent of the interactions of pagan believers with spiritual realms. Moreover, cyberspace serves as a platform for interactions with various 'digital entities,' including artificial intelligence, bots, and chatbots. This highlights the multifaceted character of both the digital and pagan realms, emphasizing the principles of exploration and interaction.
  A shaman can create an algorithmic entity that operates in the digital world, interacting with data, information, and users in accordance with spiritual principles and objectives.

  This textile art exploration encompasses a diversity of Earth goddesses, starting from well-known figures like Gaia and Pacha Mama, and including lesser-known goddesses from Siberian and Central Asian traditions. At its core is the divine Umai, symbolizing the concept of the Earth goddess.

The "Digital Reincarnation of Goddess Umai" project, also known as 'The Goddesses of Earth Biolab,' deeply explores the fusion of goddess attributes within the realm of biology. This project intricately intertwines threads of cultural diversity, philosophical contemplation, and ethical considerations. It delves into significant themes such as ecofeminism.

Furthermore, this project addresses the issues of ethics in the digital world. In an era where our lives are increasingly intertwined with technology and the virtual sphere, it is important to explore the ethical aspects of our digital actions and interactions. Just as Umai serves as a guardian of ecological ethics in the physical world, her digital incarnation acts as a guardian of ethical conduct in the digital space. This research sheds light on matters of privacy, data security, online behavior, and responsible technology use, all of which are essential aspects in our contemporary digital landscape.