You've found Father McKenzie. But are you really looking for Eleanor Rigby?

Monday, June 06, 2005

Under the Lavalamp

I missed the weekend posts on the Youthmultimedia list and only picked up on them today.

Among them was this message that caught my eye from Jonny Baker:

Subject: Digital prayer lavalamp
Check out the current issue of which has a digital prayer lavalamp in flash which I absolutely love...jonny baker

I absolutely love it too - as a flash animation. The animation itself is actually a modified version of one the the earlier projects in a book called Flash 4 Magic. I made it myself - part of the challege when I made the lavalamp was the need to modify the action script from Flash 4 to Flash MX.

Fun to do. But not fun to see how the project has been turned into what I would call an exanple of a "faith fascinator" ie a distraction from true prayer. The "virtual lava lamp" is described as an opportunity to add a prayer and have it revolve around in the lava lamp along with all the other blobs.

I could go on about the lava lamp as cultural kitsch vs revolutionary design, and weigh into a critique of the value of cultural objects and their relative corruption (rather than as novel applications for s(t)imulating piety), but its probably better to quote Jesus:

"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and switch on your lava lamp. Imagine your prayers floating around as the blobs. Up and down they go with no particular direction or purpose. They all just meld together with all the other blob-prayers into one seamless unity of blobbiness. And your power company, who records the electricity you use in secret, will charge you."

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