The Sacred Congress [Work in Progress]

Based on medieval Christian reliquaries, The Sacred Congress comprises twelve relief panels inset in a 64” x 82” x 33” tiled structure. The panels, sculpted in the 3d modeling program Zbrush, are CNC routed from 2.25” thick MDF and painted gold. Webcams concealed in the structure transmit video to a website accessible through a QR code that also serves as one of the tile patterns.

In its broadest sense, The Sacred Congress likens reliquaries – repositories for the sacred and bridges between the physical and metaphysical realms – to internet connectivity. In the new metaphysics of online digital experience, all things may be preserved in a kind of after- or mirror-life, some multiplying wildly, others settling into obscurity, but each with the potential to be resurrected, to be venerated or reviled anew.

The four main panels are based on medieval and renaissance depictions of St. Francis, St. George, St. Anthony, and Mary. These compositions redefine the original narratives in terms of contemporary digital experience and our collective hopes and anxieties about the near future of humanity. The video feed, accessible to viewers on their devices, creates a recursive loop that positions the viewer simultaneously inside and outside of the reliquary, both subject and object of surveillance, worshiper and sacred body.

Digital render of “The Assumption” panel for The Sacred Congress. Featuring Kim Kardashian as Mary.

“The Assumption” panel for The Sacred CongressCNC routed and gold leafed (iPhone not yet inserted). H:40.5″ W:22.8.”

Digital render and cut of the “Temptation” panel for The Sacred Congress. Featuring Kim Dotcom as St. Anthony and Donald Trump as the hellmouth.

Digital render and cut of “The Sacred Congress” panel of The Sacred Congress. Featuring Neil Degrasse Tyson as St. Francis.

Above: Digital render of the full layout of panels for The Sacred Congress.

Left: Digital render of the “St. George” panel for The Sacred Congress. Featuring Master Chief as St. George.

Below: Detail images showing the striations of the tool path.