The Future of Faith

Yambe Tam

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  • Summary

    An era of peace and prosperity in 2047 allows society the time to look inward. This installation creates a temple that is presided over by a high priestess who confers advice and wisdom drawn from the digital collective consciousness.

    Full description of the concept

    The extended period of peace and prosperity in 2047 allows a fully globalized society the time to finally look inward. As the post-Enlightenment era comes to a close, people rediscover the importance of spiritual practice as they slowly awaken to the nature of reality. The new faith draws from the best of Eastern and Western thought, dispensing with the old idea of religion as a dogmatism altogether, and presenting a holistic approach based on science and philosophy. There is a revival of religious architecture and institutions. "The Future of Faith" presents an immersive Zen-like temple that is presided over by a High Priestess: a figure reminiscent of the Oracle of Delphi who exists partly in the real world, partly in the digital world, and who dispenses wisdom and advice that is generated by the digital collective consciousness. Practitioners gather at the temple for silent meditations overseen by the High Priestess and two monks and nuns twice per day, which involve a language of drums and bells, sculpted out of wood, bronze, and leather. The meditations are closed with a ceremony involving chanting to the rhythm of drums and bells sculpted in the shape of wormholes, labyrinths, and animals, which strengthens the bond of community and invokes an experience of transcendence.

    About the group/Artist

    Yambe Tam is a transdisciplinary artist based in London. Her work explores the evolution of consciousness through the lenses of cognitive science, theoretical physics, Zen Buddhism, and Jungian psychology. She creates paintings, sculptures, and installations that are used as sites for participatory performances. Her work brings together digital and traditional processes, such as lost-wax bronze casting, shibari bondage, and CNC machining that combine ancient and contemporary sensibilities. This feeds into her overall creative practice which traverses the sacred and profane by merging religion and science, and spiritual and physical experience.

    Budget overview

    Fabrication of artwork: £3000
    Transportation of artwork: £1000
    Honourarium for two assistants: £1000 (£500 each)

    How can other drones co-create with you?

    I will need assistance designing the digital aspects and built environment. If anyone also has experience in Zen meditation (zazen), please get in touch, as the performances require two or three Buddhist monks or nuns.

    What is this?

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    • Do you need electricity? I will need three outlets; two walls require one outlet each for a neon piece and a sonically-responsive piece, and one outlet that is centrally located in the room for a digital display.

    • Will there be light? The space will be very atmospheric and dimly lit through two sources: the neon glow from a wall piece, and from candles that are scattered throughout the room.

    • What is your audio footprint? Meditations will be opened by a wooden drum and punctuated by a bell. The closing ceremony for performances (twice per day) will be about 10 minutes long, and involve communal chanting, two drums, and a bell.

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