New Lands: sacred spaces and the digital

6 October 2021, 17:00 - 18:30

Magdalene College & Online

Sacred spaces and the digital: a panel on embodiment, rituals and the creation of augmented space

This panel discussion on sacred spaces and the digital asks questions about theatricalisation and how we create public spaces in a digitalized world. Panelists include Magdalene College Chaplain Sarah Atkins, spiritual leader Rowan Williams and spatial practitioners from a wide range of disciplines.

As we live through the Covid-19 pandemic our sense of space is changing. Digital technologies distribute our bodies across physical spaces, multiple platforms and computer screens. These spaces are augmented or hybrid, but also increasingly ‘smart’. Meanwhile, automated actors operate alongside us and organize our interactions.

By contrast, sacred spaces usually present themselves as fully embodied. They orient us by bringing together our bodies, minds and feelings. And through sacred and shared practices – such as worship, funerals or mourning rites – they constitute communities. In part, this is achieved through the way that space is organised. The environment of Magdalene College Chapel will serve as our point of departure. Like many institutional spaces over the past eighteen months, the Chapel has been expanded to form an interactive digital space from which services are broadcast live. This digital transformation and theatricalisation of a space traditionally structured through strict protocols invites a number of questions. We will begin by asking how the space of the chapel is embodied and how such new lands of augmented space might interact with us, organise us, and even control us.

Spatial practitioners from different disciplines, such as theology, architecture, music, clinical medicine, data science, theatre and philosophy, will explore how sacred spaces are constituted, and how this process is changing as augmented space becomes a part of daily life.

 

Confirmed panelists include:

Reverend Sarah Atkins, Magdalene College Chaplain

Rowan Williams, retired, theologian, author, translator and poet

Clare Foster, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at CRASSH, University of Cambridge

Ari Ercole, Consultant and Researcher in anaesthesia and intensive care, data scientist, Fellow in Clinical Medicine, Magdalene College, University of Cambridge

The panel will be chaired by Annja Neumann, Postdoctoral Researcher in Digital Humanities at CDH.

For more information, visit the Faust Shop website.

 

Tickets:

This event will be held in-person and simultaneously streamed online. All tickets are free and will come with the opportunity to participate via question submission during the Q&A portion of the panel. Please note that due to the uncertainty of the pandemic, the event is subject to move entirely online.