“Pray for our souls” was evoked by a dream sometime after the death of my father. A dream about longing, about absence, emptiness and the irreversibility of death, about the way it leaves an indelible mark on each one of us, turning us into a different kind of animal, destined to never abandon our dead, resistant to the possibility that they may abandon us.
The name for this Project came to me from the expression commonly used to refer to the lost of human lives. I chose, in particular, these words because I find them respectful and delicate as everything referring to death must be.
Every self-conscious human being, is aware of the inevitability of death, his own and of the others. However we live in a society that denies, not just the process of aging, the decay of the body and the mind, but death itself. As individuals we refuse to address the topic of death, despite, being, together with the process of birth, the one thing we all, have in common.
This project intends to address this subject, through artistic and technological mechanisms that incorporate and, hopefully, transcend humanity, to reveal and reflect on the most intimate sentiment of pain, loss, relief, sadness, justice or injustice, whatever the feeling may be from person to person. I aim to provoke the private feeling that death causes, that is both unique and unifying.
Pray for our souls – why this name?
Emerged from the English expression used to describe the death of humans. That expression makes the occurrence more smoothly. As this artistic project, deals with the impact of the loss of lives, I found that, the most appropriate expression.
Concept transduction understood by Simondon:
“there are transduction when the structural and functional activities, start from the center of the living being and into multiple dimensions arise and around this center.” (Simondon,1964)
The reality questionable here, is the hybrid technique, the technique as an animal, a hybrid of human and no-human. I call it tecnuman reality.
Thought this fact, human beings are perceived things and things, in turn, are seen the living beings. “ We know from Hegel, that the ancient Egyptians were the people that’s not only rectified the human, they also attributed sensibility to things.” (Moises de Lemos Martins, 2006)
Omnipresence of death – the ratio of living to the death:
In all human consciousness is present the innate Knowledge of the inevitability of death.
This project aims to address the theme of the transience of life and constant omnipresence of death.
Death denial by the living:
Though we live in a society of living and death beings, the truth is that contemporary society fears and avoids addressing the theme of death.
This project has the intention to show this fact of life, aims to contribute to express the most intimate emotional sensitivities,
Making use of artistic expression as a mean to express the unifying human weal.
Arts did not escaped the allure coming from the digital world. A new generation of creators, thinkers and cultural mediators, consistently and regularly, use this new kind of language. “Ciência Viva and “Espaço do Tempo” (directed by choreographer Rui Horta) challenged several artists working in the area of digital interactivity, to create a serie of exhibition projects in this field. The show took place in February, in “Pavilhão do Conhecimento” – “Ciência Viva” (Lisbon – Portugal). Creative Algorithms is the answer to this challenge: an exhibition of 12 works in areas as diverse as interaction design, physical computing, robotics, artificial intelligence and systems engineering. In “Play With Fire play” we may gain environmental awareness, in “Pray for Our Souls” we are confronted with absence and longing; “Imaginary Direction” leads to three-dimensional sound, in “WIPO” we try to find answers to big questions of the universe; “0 0255” shows us a 100% green city; “AnonMirror” reflects the anonymous that lies within us; “Disposable Beauty” challenges us to shed out our prejudices; “Creatures” turns our bodies into animated characters; “Teleforma” questions us about words we use; “ICU” is a robot that follows our movements, in “Prefall 135” we figure out how water energy can generate audio and visual in real-time and “Onomaphonic” we can observe the visual representation of sound.
This audiovisual projects consists of 12 instrumental loops, each one represented by a pulsating balloon in the shape of a heart, which in turn represents a living soul. All 12 loops, when played together, create a complete feeling of harmony and calmness. Seamlessly each loop fades out, leading to an unavoidable emptiness. Naturally, the heartbeat stays until the end.
By Kyriakos Koursaris
This story shows us the first steps towards of a premonitory and subliminal storytelling for “pray for our souls” soundtrack. It emerged, more or less, thanks to a spontaneous grow of some texts written during the development of two prototypes for the subject of Integrated Project into the Master in Technology and Digital Arts at Minho University
Written by Rui de Carvalho
Narrated by José Pinheiro Neves