> Exhibition > To Pray without Ceasing

9th Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X

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To Pray without Ceasing: An Interpassive Liturgy

Kyle Booten


University of Connecticut, Storrs, USA

Keywords: Care, Prayer, Interpassivity, Natural Language Processing, Web Application

Website screenshot.

Since the candles are lit, To Pray without Ceasing generates a prayer. A Tweet is placed upon the altar using Twitter’s oEmbed API.

To Pray without Ceasing is a web app that prays for the needs of Twitter users. Each day the system searches for tweets expressing needs (e.g. “I really need a hug right now”) and, using various techniques of natural language processing to generate responses to these tweets, produces a 24-hour-long liturgy based on the “Liturgy of the Hours.” Visitors to the web app activate it by tending to several virtual candles. As long as one of these remains lit, the system will proffer prayers. By participating in its ritual, viewers are invited to consider and feel what it would be like to put down their own worries and instead care for others without limits.

Artist Presentation


I am grateful to Nokturno.fi for supporting the development and debut of this work while I was their Fall 2020 poet-in-residence.