One of the more interesting variants of the creation myth comes from India. In the Hindu religion, there is a school of thought which maintains that Vishnu, creator of all things, is sleeping and that we and the worlds which we inhabit, are figments of his dream.
A corollary of this concept is to be found in the basic precept of all yoga practices, which is, "Thou art that." Another way to state this concept is, "You are that which you seek." By this it is meant that we are all a component of God (Vishnu) and it is up to the individual's conquest of illusion (samsara) to perceive our oneness with each other along with the world which we inhabit.
This same school of thought also believes that once all of the names of God have been spoken aloud, Vishnu will awaken causing the Universe to end.
This story has percolated
in my mind since adolescence. With the recent advent of the Internet
and the approaching close of the millennium, the timing seems correct for this project. In the east, the path
to knowledge has traditionally been through introspection. In the west,
it has been through the scientific method and external achievement. At this nexus of ideology, technology, culture, and the millennia, there
has come to exist a new, middle way. It is a way in which we may utilize contemporary
technology to examine spiritual questions at the core of our
species, and develop meaningful global communication which unites rather than divides humanity.
CALL FOR PARTICIPATION:
As the project progresses, all of the submitted names will be periodically downloaded, stored and converted, into audible speech through a flame.
The list will be open to accepting names until April 21, 2010. Beginning on this date, the flame will begin to speak the collected names. If the world as we know it still exists, the site will continue to accept submissions. When exhibited the flame will speak the updated list of collected names.
The sculptural installation consists of a computer-mediated environment whose focal point is that of a flame above a pool of water. The characteristics of the flame's plasma are modified so that it functions as a speaker. As the environment detects human presence, the flame will announce each of the submitted names until all words have been spoken.
In one way this is an opportunity to transcend traditional exhibition boundaries, recruit participants in a collaborative work, and to engender a greater sense of world community. In another way this is a test of a hypothesis.