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The Automated Prayer Machine
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Artists' statement:

Interview with Annabelle Chvostek & Anna Fritz

The radio is often a harbinger of bad news i.e. political upheaval, corporate evil, wars abroad, wars at home, hateful official speeches, overly sensationalized accounts of people dying in crashes, bombings and fires, wives murdered by spouses, dogs run over, etc-- violent death and violent speech spill incessantly out of the receiver. We in the West can experience the worst of world events remotely, and the listener response to this aural bombardment is not one of outrage or action so much as depression, powerlessness and political apathy.

For there to be significant mainstream change in the West there must be a change in attitude: from apathy to empathy, from indifference to generosity, and compassion. Though the two of us are not proposing to radically shift world politics with a single broadcast, we want to contribute to change by transmission of sound that creates a space for unfolding human hopes and aspirations.

The Automated Prayer Machine posits the radio as antidote to despair. We propose to transform radios from squawkboxes to prayer wheels, shifting the programming from the nightly body count to vespers. The automated prayer machine itself is your radio receiver at home, automated for prayer in the way that a spinning Tibetan prayer wheel or a votive candle does the praying for you. Our programme will animate the radio-as-prayer-machine for a time, so that the prayer machine functions as long as people leave their radios on.