Passage (Ulm, 2013)

What does spirituality mean in the 21st century? Passage approaches this important question by delivering a poetic impulse to meditate on spiritual- ity in our net culture. Mundane events, which are related to key religious terms such as omnipresence, heaven, eternity, timelessness, space, transi- tion and transcendence, are projected within the tower hall in the form of current messages from the social network Twitter. These “noose” along the pillars, in organic harmony with the gothic architecture, towards the open- ing in the center, which is located directly underneath the church tower. Passage is specially designed for the 125th anniversary of the Ulm Minis- ter and is a unique synthesis of the physical space of the cathedral and the virtual net world.

On the one hand, the omnipresent information, with which we are con- fronted today, is ephemeral. On the other, she also hold at the same time a strong transcendental quality within her claim on eternity. Events fade, but information is saved forever in the Net. Thus Passage is also about the disap- pearance and the momentariness of information. The dead continue to “live” in the web. After all the networld is a kind of contemporary afterlife. The faith of Twitter users materializes in language and this language volatil- izes in the connecting opening towards the tower, which points to afterlife.

Social Networks are community places and thus engines of faith. As a matter of facts networks like Twitter follow certain social conventions and obtain nearly a sacred character. We choose to let the wriggling messages lead to the opening underneath the dome tower. We did so because every gothic tower is a metaphor for the transition between the mundane and the devine. Furthermore the opening on the ceiling is the connection to the tower. Through Passage the visitor gets the chance to experience the space from a new perspective and to contemplate on the relationship of physical and virtual expressions of spirituality.

Passage opens up new perspectives on the connection between the web and the transcendence. Ancient theological terms, like omnipresence, heaven, eternity, timelessness, space, transition and transcendence, are presented in a completely different light: the global interconnectedness of mankind. The sacred space becomes temporarily extended with media components. This way the work offers new perspectives on the social net-organism and the transcendental being of humanity in the 21st century.

PASSAGE - project proposal for the Dome of ULM 2013