for this we pray: enhancing prayers with RFID tags

for this we pray is an art installation inspired by the tradition of lighting candles during prayer. The user can select one of several prayer cards, each with an embedded RFID tag inside, and hold it close to a wall-mounted “srine” reminiscent of a stained-glass window. Once the card is recognized, a light is turned on.

The author, Aya Natalia Karpinska, argues that:

The technology employed brings something new to reading, it ties the writing to an action that enriches the experience. Writing becomes performance. The use of cards is inpsired by the prayer cards I would receive after special Catholic masses as a child, cards with an image of a saint on one side and a lyric or prayer on the other side. These cards are kept in your bag or in your prayer book, wherever you would be likely to happen upon them and reflect once more on the essence of the thought the prayer card communicates. Each of the cards in for this we pray are devoted to a specific intention, each is a fragment, a musing on the role of prayer in the life of a hyper-digital urban atheist such as myself.

For This We Pray