“Without a special object of worship” is an interactive installation exploring imagery inspired by the salt-beaten Veneto-Byzantine port city of Venice, Italy. A handmade picture book is the device through which the participant controls computer based still images and animations. In the dimly lit installation space, the participant can sit at a table and turn the pages of a candle-lit artist’s book. Custom electrical wiring allows communication between the book and the computer with each page of the book corresponding to complementary digital 2D image sequences and 3D animated sequences. The sequences appear on a monitor at the table. All of the imagery, both in the book and stored in the computer, consists of the artist’s original stills and animations. The juxtaposition of the book and the digital imagery serves to bring the book to life by adding motion. The environment is further enhanced by an original sound track inspired by chants and religious liturgy. The integration of image and sound creates a peaceful, sacred space conducive to reflection. While the installation is not specifically religious in nature, the experience could be likened to the very personal acts of meditation and prayer. Much as a prayer book, the handmade book acts as a point of departure for these acts. The book structure is the vehicle through which the participant communicates, controlling the pace of the interaction and thus customizing and personalizing the experience.
- Jacquelyn Martino, USA, artist-researcher