Jacquelyn A. Martino: Without a Special Object of Worship

  • ©,

  • ©,



    Without a Special Object of Worship


Creation Year:




Artist Statement:

    Without a Special Object of Worship is an interactive instal­lation exploring imagery inspired by the salt-beaten, Veneta-Byzantine port city of Venice, Italy. Visitors sit at a table in the dimly lit installation space and control computer­-based still images and anima­tions by turning the pages of a handmade picture book. Custom electrical wiring allows communication between the book and the computer, with each page of the book corre­sponding to complementary digital 2D image sequences and 3D animated sequences. The sequences appear on a monitor at the table.

    All of the imagery, both in the book and stored in the com­puter, consists of the artist’s orig­inal stills and animations. The juxtaposition of the book and the digital imagery serves to bring the book to life by adding motion. The environment is fur­ther enhanced by an original sound track inspired by chants and religious liturgy. The integra­tion of image and sound creates a peaceful, sacred space con­ducive to reflection. While the installation is not specifically reli­gious in nature, the experience could be likened to the personal acts of meditation and prayer. Much as a prayer book, the handmade book acts as a point of departure for these acts. The book structure is the vehicle through which the participant communicates, controlling the pace of the interaction and thus customizing and personalizing the experience.

    Books have a place in our cul­tural history and development that cannot be denied. Currently, we are witnessing the transfor­mation of the book from analog to digital form. While the advan­tages of the digital book are many, there remain aspects of the physical book form that have not been replicated digitally. Specifically, their organic nature has not been preserved. Without a Special Object of Worship pre­serves the tactile, spatial quali­ties of the book form while simultaneously taking advan­tage of technological innovation in digital forms. With this piece, a bridge has been established for continual research and develop­ment in the marriage of tradi­tional analog interactive models with their digital counterparts, specifically in the study of book forms.

Affiliation Where Artwork Was Created:

    Philips Research Labs