way of the cross
the way of the cross as a mobile sound installation
"sacral design" semester project at UdK Berlin, 2006
the "way of the cross" is a kind of sacral installation found in many churches and along pilgrims' paths representing the "via dolorosa" in jerusalem, i.e. the way jesus went from his condemnation to the cross where he finally died.
in medieval ages, pilgrims returning from jerusalem reconstructed the original route, divided into 14 stations along paths in their home countries, mostly along paths leading to churches, with the church itself being the last station.
this later was turned into 14 stations, marked by paintings or reliefs, inside the church itself.
the purpose of the way of the cross is to meditate on the sufferings of christ; on some days, the priest guides the community from one station to another while praying.
the way of the cross is transformed into a sound installation. its core
element is a large wooden cross which is carried along a path marked by
14 portable stations.
at each station, the cross comes to life and from inside the wood news articles, read by a computer voice, become audible.
these articles are matching the current stations' theme, like defamation
or people sticking to their beliefs and being punished for it, but also
about people helping others in emergency situations.
while the pysical experience is strengthened by carrying a real weight, the meditation is not focused on symbols but on real people's fates.
because of the fact that the stations can be set up everywhere, not only existing pilgrims routes can be medially enhanced, but also can selected places be layered with a new meaning.
out of a massive bar of old wood, a wooden cross was constructed
the top part was split up and then excavated
so that not only a speaker would fit in
but also an amplifier, an Arduino Board, an YAMPP III mp3 player as well as 4 9V Block batteries and an EasyRadio module.
the stations each contain also an arduino module, which sends out a signal via easyRadio. as soon as the cross is within range, the according track is played back.
the audiofiles are generated by using the built-in text-to-speech function of a computer, the read-out material is researched using google news.