Project Random: Quantum Devotional Performance

After lining out the basic idea of my project idea of a quantum spiritual experience to my classmates, I immersed myself in devotional objects, catholic symbolism, performance art of the fluxus movement and still life. 


Above some of my ideas for visualizing the random guessing of the letters of a quote by Emile Borel ("Whatever the progress of human knowledge, there will always be room for ignorance, hence for chance and probability.") on chance and probability using quantum processes. The difficulty for me is to keep the experience sublime and "understandable" at the same time. I am asking myself how far the whole process should be explicitly visible for the audience and what should remain murky to create a spiritual, meditative and church-like experience. 

Now what is the essential core question of my project?

What are the consequences of absolute chance?

I am thinking about true randomness that is generated by quantum processes as a reasonable doubt of the reason of reason: Randomness as a principle cannot be generated with the means of logic/mathematics - but it can be proofed with those same logics/mathematics. It is in its very nature deconstruct-able with language, but can be described by explaining what it is not. This gives it a spiritual dimension, every task that is based on random action is devoid of pre-determined  choice or plan - and therefore free. The infinite repetition of a purposeless action defies any given logic and therefore constitutes its own logic. This logic can be felt in any ritual, especially in the repetition of prayers in religions. There is safety in structuring the unstructured, in addressing the void again and again. A - article addresses this in its review of the Venice Biennale 2011 "Illuminations" referring to Schlingensiefs "Church of Fear" at the German Pavilion: "(...)his aim was ‘to open mere reason up to the limitlessness that constitutes its truth."And this limitlessness of the truth, the unreasonableness of reason, should offer one thing: Hope. 

In this light I embarked on a little journey into devotional objects I am familiar with from growing up in the countryside in a village with a catholic community: rosary-beads to keep track of the prayers (and to have a sensory sensation of rhythm), candles and monstrance as bearers of holy light and spirit, the architecture of churches, medieval still-lives and iconography. I limited my research on these objects as they are taken from my cultural upbringing, I have a familiarity with their place in society and their function as ritualistic metaphors of faith. 

I played with contrasting the richness of a still-life with the cold terminal-output of my guessing-code to see how this tension between faith, fear and reason unfolds on a 2-dimensional scale.

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I observed a feeling of security by leaving the code running on my screen while researching on obscure devotional-object sites, the infinite nature of the repetition of the guessing - process offered me a form of digital-steadiness/prayer with ritualistic qualities.

I played as well with adding sounds to this process and generated sounds based on pitched down recordings from the ITP-floor in combination with a simple harmonic synth layer. 

I would like to explore this further under the light of a three dimensional installation piece that offers a meditative space for the observer.