Ceremonial Technologies

Animistic beliefs, traditional knowledge and ritual practices continue to play an important role in many parts of the world today. They acknowledge a larger-than-human dimension where past, present and future can happen at the same time, forever linked through a spiritual power present in objects, organisms and places. Challenging the “primitive” definition that colonial anthropology casted upon animism, ancient forms of knowledge are currently being regarded as valid alternatives to the current global model of corporate capitalism, providing innovative approaches to the use of natural resources, agriculture, land, economy, medicine, gender and power.

This series of sculptural works speculate with the idea of restoring the legends, myths and spiritual forces once present in the life of Europe’s earliest ancestors, imagining ‘Ritual Futures & Ceremonial Technologies’. While lost thousands of years ago, recent archaeological and scientific discoveries continue to unearth evidence of spiritual practices and forms of proto-shamanism present in sanctuaries across Europe and the Mediterranean. Can this ancestral life force still be harnessed today through contemporary meanings and materials? How can we represent the fluidity and permeability between different worlds and species? With this work I’m hoping to embrace a circular/mythical conception of time, where spiritual power does not belong in the past, set in stone, forever immobile, but is rather seen as free-flowing around us in perpetual circulation.

We Can Feel Right Through You.
From the Ceremonial Technologies series, 2022.
Wood, clay, plaster, gesso, marble powder, beeswax, glass beads.

“Part object, part creature(s). We Can Feel Right Through You is about vulnerability, about interspecies navigation, multinatural worldviews and fluid transformations. We Can Feel Right Through You is about visions becoming so crystal clear that we learn to see through our bodies, our organs, our bones.”


I Hope You Can See the Stars In Me
From the series ‘Ceremonial Technologies’
Clay, glass beads, nylon thread, cotton thread, dumortierite, green aventurine.



One Hundred Thousand Times Forever.
From the series ‘Ceremonial Technologies’, 2022.
Unfired clay, acrylic, hair extensions, quartz.
87 x 47 x 10cm

“Jorge Mañes Rubio is interested in ancestral notions of objects being embedded with a spiritual power. He explores if this potential can be harnessed today through contemporary meanings and materials. In this object carefully crafted in black clay, power is represented by a bright pink hair extension flowing out of a portal guarded by two ibex, two vultures, two deers and an anthropomorphic Iberian lynx with a talisman on its chest. With this work Mañes Rubio hopes to evoke reflections on the renovation of life, the fluidity and permeability between different worlds, and the larger-than-human dimension that defines our very existence.”


Where Do We Go From Here?
From the series ‘Ceremonial Technologies’, 2021.
Unfired clay, acrylic, hair extensions.
71 x 26 x 8cm