( آلة) Ala: a ritual machine., 2018
As our species evolved in emotional complexity, with its individual and tribal implications, rituals simultaneously emerged to act as “user manuals” to our wide-ranging emotional states of being. Whether in mourning or in celebration, rituals help navigate us through the fog of sorrow and the excesses of joy, They bring bring us back to emotional balance as deemed so by our individual values, or as defined by our chosen tribal collective. Rituals are identified by their sequence of activities, often physical, involving gestures, movements and sounds. Rituals are often performed in a sequestered place, following a set of instructions serving an emotional need. It is this physical expression of an emotional state that rituals wish to define, direct and break down into physical, often repetitive, acts resulting in a rhythm of movement and sound. In our contemporary state, the function of the ritual act has been dismissed, diminished or exploited, rendering our perception of ritual as a mechanical, meaningless task. And so, new ritual machines emerge, driven by evolving emotional algorithms, to guide us back to the true role of ritual in our lives. The installation becomes a finely tuned instrument, strung together using machine made parts with an emotional drive, resulting in a machine directed ritual. The function of these machines is to perform the physical, repetitive act on our behalf.
Ala: ritual machine, is the first phase of an ongoing research project Shono is conducting in collaboration with Prof. Manfred Hild