Achebe’s Internet: Proverbial Protocol

Can we create a modern information system premised on the foundational wisdom of [Igbo]proverbs? What would the internet look like if it were designed to mirror ancestral systems of knowledge production that prioritize the dissemination of wisdom over mere information? These are the questions at the heart of Achebe’s Internet/Proverbial Protocol, a research project that seeks to situate ancestral wisdom ecologies within contemporary technological frameworks, now being further developed and distributed through the 18th web residency »Magical Hackerism or The Elasticity of Resilience.«


Chidumaga Uzoma Orji, Abuja/Nigeria — Nov 22, 2022

Akademie Schloss Solitude - Achebe’s Internet: Proverbial Protocol

Departing from a deep consideration of proverbs as a linguistic technology that can counter hegemonic notions of time and being, Achebe’s Internet (A.I.) considers how proverb making can inform an approach to the digital that acknowledges local contexts and enshrines situated knowledge production. By designing a network protocol (code-named Proverbial Protocol) that harnesses Conversational Energy to facilitate the creation, exploration and exchange of interpersonal and communal wisdom, Achebe’s Internet investigates how we can leverage the internet’s materiality to connect with the oldest technology we have, our intuitions. The project’s goal is to unearth healthier alternative forms of being within a digital landscape defined by information overwhelm, and to extend the understanding of the digital beyond a Silicon Valley-led cosmology. This will activate its benefits for the people that this narrative has historically excluded in the most embodied way possible.


Chidumaga Uzoma Orji is a visual/digital/web artist and creative/spiritual technologist. His work is concerned with unpacking postcolonial crises of identity, fueling imagination in service of progressive African futures, and exploring ancestral spirituality through a contemporary lens. He lives and works in  the serene hills of Abuja, Nigeria.

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