I Am Leaving the Body
Invalidovna, Prague, Czech Republic
Jan Hladil, Lukáš Kalivoda, Jen Kratochvil, Daniel Marko, Dmitrij Nikitin, Petr Pufler, Rafani, Jonáš Rosůlek, Alan Tois
The extensive Baroque complex of Invalidovna (Veterans Home) was designed by architect Josef Emanuel Fischer from Erlach and finished in 1737 by Kilian Ignac Dietzenhofer. Founded by military leader Peter Strozzi, the infirmary was a unique place built for four thousands of crippled soldiers wounded during the Thirty Years’ War. The soldiers had no homes and families to go back to and in their loneliness they turned their minds to God.
The building is currently being prepared for a thorough reconstruction. During exploratory works in the military archives and under the ground of the courtyard, researchers found stone reliefs and period graphics. Without a doubt there is a connection with historic activities of the BIG LIGHT initiative.
The discovered books with Baroque copperplates depict military strategies from 1721 Europe. After attentive reading of the texts, we can notice a repetition of the heraldic symbol of blue hand, representing Lumen Magnum – BIG LIGHT in Latin.
In 2018, using the rediscovered findings and theories, a group of artists decided to reconstruct the original ceremony from the times of Thirty Years’ War. They transfer the complicated scene to the present times with the help of robots, blue colour (ultramarine), gum olibanum, lasers, and sounds.
Sculptures depicting two BIG LIGHT hand reliefs.
The first stone is being washed with a ultramarine colour by a robot revealing the relief of the BIG LIGHT six-finger hand. The hand relief on the second stone is scanned by a robot. This warms up the smouldering surface covered by olibanum. Smoke smelling of Oman resin Boswellia Sacra is rising up to the sky.
In the courtyard, in a blue container, we can see two original Baroque prints and an animation depicting crucified Jesus Christ. Based on comparison of 370 historical paintings, the animation shows how the image of crucifixion evolved from 10th to 20th century.
The hand of BIG LIGHT refers to the theories of development of language. Touches of physical matter had a crucial impact on the development of speech and interpersonal communication as such. The sixth finger is the extension of the body outside itself and profession of faith in God. In the present times, it refers to extending to the world of Artificial Intelligence.
BIG LIGHT says: We are leaving our bodies. We cease to use hands and touch the matter. We are losing our language and creating a new one. Humankind is transforming. BIG LIGHT connects old worlds with the new ones. It celebrates the matter, physical world, and non-material remote worlds. BIG LIGHT asks a question what the form of a body in the age of machine learning will be. Ecce anima.