Devotion involves the recitation of a devotional poem written by the artist while electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) actuates the ringing of a small brass bell with increasing speed and force.
The artist comes from a religious tradition (Himachali Shaivism) that values penance and pain as a means to connection with God, and where bells are commonly used during prayer. This piece uses technology to augment what is fundamentally a religious act: EMS allows the artist to ring the bell more rapidly than naturally possible, and the painful aspect of its actuation serves as a way to enhance the devotional quality of the recitation. As such, this piece instantiates a positive connection between religion and technology, where technology and religion meaningfully enable each other’s goals.
Exhibited at Purification Ritual, Chicago: 3/15/2019.
Exhibited at Zimmerli Art Museum (NOFLASH Video Show), New Brunswick: 5/3/2019-5/5/2019.