Jelena Markovic is a writer, performance artist, and PhD candidate in philosophy at the University of British Columbia. Her research and art practice focus on transformative experience, body memory and awareness, grief, and illness.
She is a contributor and research assistant for the Uninvited Project, led by Prof. Carrie Jenkins and Prof. Carla Nappi.
Her art practice takes the forms of poetry, fiction, and performance art. I am part of the performance collective CUERPO, led by Guadalupe Martinez.
Jelena Markovic, Poster series, 16”x16”, 2020
This piece is a series of posters illustrating mental structures and giving manifestation tips and inspiration. It is inspired by the manifestation workshops and articles I have seen online, which aim to teach people how to obtain what they want by changing their mindset. In these posters I put manifestation ideas in conversation with ideas in the philosophy of mind, in particular enactivist conceptions of the self according to which makes us up includes self-regulating systems (such as homeostatic processes) that are beyond our direct control. I was also inspired by views of memory according to which memory, counterfactual thinking, and prospection are part of the same cognitive mechanism. Through this combination of ideas, I aim to formulate the idea of changing one’s mindset as a remaking of the self, and manifestation as a technique for speaking to the physical and emotional “deep self”. The bright colours and square format of the posters is inspired by the Instagram aesthetic, one of the most popular platforms for magic-related businesses.
Conversations on magic and spirituality
3 sound recording interviews
This piece is a series of interviews with artists and/or scholars about their magical or spiritual practice, and how it fits with their art practice, values, and the way they see the world. I spoke to three individuals: Aerial Sunday-Cardinal, an artist and UBC alumnus, Kristen Lewis, a dance artist and graduate student in law, and Carrie Jenkins, a poet and UBC philosophy professor. I was curious to explore how each person gains encouragement from their magical or spiritual practice and how it interacts with the personal, social, and political challenges they face.
Music by Dramshop Sound
LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEWS BELOW:
Aerial Sunday-Cardinal is a Cree woman from Goodfish Lake First Nations. She is a medicine woman in-training and a multimedia artist. Aerial is most well known for her generous hand in providing traditional medicines, as well as her brave, honest and compelling performance art.
Kristen Lewis, JD is a graduate student at Osgoode Hall law school. Her research explores the ways Western legal discourses and practices condition and constrain indigenous religion, on the hunt for ways non-normative religious practices (especially the practices of women and gendered minorities) might survive through the cracks where colonial law does not reach, suggesting new avenues of freedom for a sick and dying neoliberal "world." She is also a performance and dance artist with many years experience using performative modes of research and practice to undo the multiple, nefarious normalizing forces of neoliberalism. She loves to create and to love.
Carrie Jenkins is Canada Research Chair in Philosophy at the University of British Columbia, and the author of What love Is and What It Could Be. Her debut novel, Victoria Sees It, will be published with Penguin Random House Canada in 2021.