Techno-alchemy is the practice of changing matter, energy, and information from one form to another. It draws on many different fields, including art, technology, neuroscience, and psychology, as well as folklore, data design, and research on transformative experiences. This modern approach to making is being developed most prominently at the CHROMAKAIROS techno-alchemy research center in Milan.
Historically, alchemy was about changing matter from one form to another. In its more spiritual dimensions, it also involved trying to perfect the human body and soul. Alchemists believed that matter and energy were two forms of the same thing, and that it was possible to change one into the other. They based this belief on their observations of natural processes.
Techno-alchemy continues this tradition, but it also adds information to the mix. The Theory of Relativity, published in 1905, confirmed that matter and energy are interchangeable. Throughout the 20th century, scientists and engineers have explored how information relates to matter and energy.
Techno-alchemy often incorporates electronics and other technologies, but it's not necessary. The word technology comes from the Greek word techne, which referred to the practical application of knowledge to solve problems or create new things. This broad definition of technology is widely upheld today in Afrofuturist philosophy. Techno-alchemy is based on a similar perspective, emphasizing the transformation of information alongside matter and energy.