SELECT WORKSMareekh مريخ - Multimedia Martial Talisman
Sound Art, Technology
Sound Art, Technology
Mareekh مريخ: Multimedia Martial Talisman
20 in x 20 in x 3 in
Mixed media paper sculpture (iron mica filament, ink, watercolor, iron magnetite ink of dissolved firearms, cochineal beetle pigment, human blood, cotton) on handmade Nepalese Lokta paper, 2021 Running length 5’ 25” (325 seconds)
Mareekh مريخ is a multimedia talisman piece ensouling the planetary energies of Mars. This piece is the artist’s first exploration of constructing a talisman by traditional means, that instead of being carried on the person or location, could technologically be experienced in a multisensory fashion. The artist is interested in how technological means such as filming and audio recording could allow for factors like time and location to be captured in the activating process of celestial ensouling. All footage of this piece was captured during the 5 minutes, 65 seconds of the original tape loop played at the election “birth” time described below. This brief article describes what makes a true talisman.
Mareekh مريخ, in particular is a talisman created to attune the experiencer to the planetary energies of Mars, specifically as a “feminine call to arms.” This Martial feminine component is an ongoing theme and focus of the artist’s interests, training and advocacy likely supported by her own natal placements. All humans are believed to hold components of both the feminine and masculine — on all three planes of the physical, mental and spiritual.
This project was co-produced by C.R. Sanders, who also assisted with cameras. Project shot at Widow’s Son Productions in Los Angeles.
METHODOLOGYA variety of contemporary and traditional methods were used in the meticulous construction of this piece, inspired by techniques and imagery from the Islamic grimoire of Shams al Maarif and the Ghayat al Hakim aka the Picatrix – combined with the artist’s training in the Sufi and Western Mystery Traditions. Contemporary Martial adaptations of traditional Kufic calligraphy and Islamic illumination were used throughout.
This piece was constructed over a period of 17 weeks, during astrologically-appropriate days, nights and hours. Astrologer Sasha Ravitch was consulted for key election dates/time calculations that were observed for crucial points of construction (i.e. composing, recording to tape, introductions of and consecrating the metals within the piece, specific inscriptions, etc.) The election chart below is of the official birthing and recording of the piece. Traditional Renaissance Astrological Magic calculations were not completely adhered to, as the nature of this particular project called for the consideration of the artist’s natal chart and aspects as the “living talisman” and creator of the piece. For reasons of privacy, Bint’s chart is not publicly included with that of the talisman’s, but do note that the synastry between the two were a key component in the calculations.
Observations and incorporations of the lunar mansions as well as lunar aspects to Bint’s natal chart played an important role in the realizing and construction of this project.
The entire piece is comprised of Islamic Divine Names that were both chosen and inspired for the particular properties of this talisman. The Arabic Divine Names used are القوي Al Qawee, Ya Qahirيا قاهر , Ya Muntaqim يا منتقم , and العزيز Al Aziz meticulously inscribed during specific times, with consecrated pigmented inks and pens in a specific abjad-related or gematria number of times that all break down into a five-fold pattern further arranged to create specific shapes and forms. Traditional rituals of Sufic dhikr (mantric repetitions) of the Names along with ritual purity and other environmental factors were observed throughout the inscription process.
The following Quranic verse was inscribed 5 times using an ink made of dissolved firearms (shown below). This same verse and ink are used in the limited edition original prints mentioned at the bottom of this page.
و أنزَلنا الحَديد فيهِ بأسٌ شديد ٥٧:٢٥
And We sent down iron, with its great military might (57:25)
The five stone obelisks activating the corners of the talisman are of onyx containing enough iron in order to be magnetized underneath. This both draws down and carries the Martial current throughout the piece, which is also the meaning of the inscribed Quranic vers.
All metallic components of the piece are infused with multiple layers of iron and steel filaments. The larger sections of red are comprised of a mixture of genuine cochineal beetle pigment and the artist’s actively drawn blood. The black inscriptions along the primary obelisk uses a highly magnetic iron ink made of dissolved firearms by ink-maker Thomas Little (@a.rural.pen).
photo courtesy of @a.rural.pen
The music used was composed in the key of C using very specific Martial field recorded foley samples and dhikr invocations, set to drones from a Korg MS20 analog synthesizer and harmonium—all of which were recorded straight to cassette tape using a 4-track recorder. The length of the cassette tape loop was cut to exactly 65 seconds (1 minute, 5 seconds), looping 5 times to a total length of 325 seconds (5 minutes, 25 seconds), both being important numbers associated with the gematria associations with Mars.
At the elected “birth” time of the piece, the talisman grid and current running through it was activated by the playing of the cassette tape loop. The electromagnetic nature of the tape has slight interactions with the highly magnetic ink made of dissolved firearms, running around a magnetized iron-onyx obelisk.
Limited Edition Original Prints
5 limited edition original prints of the piece have been made available for sale and personal ritual use.
Each of the 5 limited edition originals are individually hand calligraphed by the artist using using the magnetite firearm ink mentioned above. The calligraphy on these piece are of the Quranic verse mentioned earlier, written in the artist’s contemporary style of Kufic Arabic calligraphy. The pentagram and metallic accents are also individually hand painted with iron-mica infused ink. These five prints come with a set of 5 stones to activate the grid for personal use, a stone for balancing personal energy after using the grid and a cassette tape of the Martial tape used in the original installation. A detailed digital guide, including ritual recommendations is also included with every purchase.
Two / 5 pieces are still available. $555.55. Contact the artist for purchasing details.
5% of proceeds go to PREPARE, Women-owned NonProfit Founders of IMPACT, resepcted and well-known for its curriculum and independent international chapters specializing in womxn training programs on personal safety, assertiveness and self-defense training program. It is part of a comprehensive effort to prevent sexual assault and other acts of interpersonal violence and boundary violations. prepareinc.com ➖ www.impactselfdefense.org
Copyright © Bint Al-Shalabiya, 2023. All rights reserved.