Digital Sufi Shrine
December 2017 | Gray Area, San Francisco
A sensory immersive installation that merges fragments from my memories with physical and digital technologies to recreate a space that is mystical and meditative.
Role: Producer & Designer
Sound: Arooj Aftab & Anjna Swaminathan
Digital Sufi Shrine is an experience rooted in nostalgia and novelty. Sufism and Sufi music was a significant part of my life when I was coming of age in Pakistan. It’s considered to be subversive because it's unorthodox and is often practiced through music, dance, poetry, and intoxication which is very contrary to mainstream Islam. I connected with how fluid and expansive it was and it continues to be an important part of my identity and ideology.
This project is an homage to Sufi shrines across Pakistan that are frequently attacked, mutating from beautiful, sacred spaces into sites of violence.
I wanted to create an infinity mirror as the central piece of the installation because it allows the viewer to get lost in their own reflection. It is essentially one strip of LED lights attached to foam core frame and sandwiched between two mirrors - the one on the back is a full mirror and the one on the front is a halfway mirror. This allows light to get reflected back into the mirror an infinite number of times, creating this effect. The lights are powered and programmed by an Arduino.
This is based off Islamic geometric patterns. It has 60 WS2811 LED lights attached to little holes in foam core that are divided by pieces of board so light remains within sections. The top is covered with a sheet of vellum to diffuse the light. These lights are also powered and programmed by an Arduino.
Projection Mapped Wall
This is also based on Islamic geometric patterns that I projected on the wall and outlined with tape. With Madmapper, I projected into some of the shapes and to give them a flickering effect.