GREG GARVEY

  "the one land that all men desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the globe combined."  
 
Mark Twain 1895/96
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Touching the Sacred and the Profane
"Hooray for Bollywood!"
 
  Triptych
Touch sensitive capacitance sensing enabled metal frames decorated with Hindu iconography enclose LCD screens which display digital video recorded from religious and pop music cable-TV channels from India.
Single Frame
Initially a viewer sees and hears religious figures preaching, lecturing, praying and singing.When the viewer/listener reaches (within 2”) and touches a framed LCD display, the video will randomly switch to one of a selection of “Bollywood” music videos.
     
 

Touching the Sacred and the Profane
is an interactive touch sensitive work that
recalls the act of touching as a sign of
religious devotion while simultaneously celebrating the possibilities of the emergent global village media remix. By means of
user interaction/intervention Hindu religious streaming broadcasts are remixed, remade
or remediated with “Bollywood” music videos creating a streaming media mash-up
juxtaposing the sacred with the profane.

The spectacle of the global village now
includes webcasts, cable/satellite TV and streaming media that originates from nearly anywhere on the planet. Channels dedicated
to religious content can be instantly juxtaposed with those dedicated to MTV-style music videos. No where else is this juxtaposition of religious belief and/or secular indulgence more evident than in India.

In commenting on his travels to India in
1895/96 Mark Twain (aka Samuel Langhorne Clemens) celebrates India:

"This is India! The land of dreams and romance, of fabulous wealth and fabulous poverty, …..the country of a hundred nations and a hundred tongues, of a thousand
religions and two million gods,…”

He continues “the one land that all men
desire to see, and having seen once, by even a glimpse, would not give that glimpse for all the shows of all the rest of the globe combined.” Today, with its rapidly developing economy, newly emergent middle and upper middle class a visitor can be astonished by
the extremes that hold true even for visitors
a century ago.

This touch sensitive work invites the intervention of the viewer/listener to disrupt, remix & mash-up these global broadcasts creating a “found” digital video experience. “Touching the Sacred and Profane” recalls religious devotion by a “laying of the hands” evocative of the ecstatic. Repeated touching “scratches”, remixes creating a “train wreck” of the secular and sacred, of aesthetic intention and religious conviction.