reconsideration of an interactive installation

by Richard ACZÉL, Márton FERNEZELYI, Zoltán SZEGEDY-MASZÁK, 2021/22

Related work: exAltaircation (2001-2002)

This work is a reconsideration of the original project developed for the Iconoclash exhibition in 2002. While the original installation extensively used spatial audio and multiple projection screens in a large scale immersive environment, in this online version we aimed to reconsider our original ideas rather than to reprocess the contents we produced 20 years ago. But as this single-screen reconsideration is still an immersive environment where spoken text is important, we recommend to use good quality stereo audio equipment (preferrebly headphones) and large screen for exploration (by clicking the link or the image below you open the work in a new browser window).

The texts used in the installation are from two historical sources:

The Journals of William Dowsing (1643-44). Dowsing, an English Puritan from Suffolk, also known as “the Smasher”, was appointed “Commissioner for the destruction of monuments of idolatry and superstition” in December 1643 and destroyed or defaced religious artifacts in over 250 churches in East Anglia between December 1643 and October 1644.


The Book of Homilies, a collection of sermons completed in 1571, aiming to explain and justify the new doctrines of the Reformation and to be read from the pulpit throughout the realm as well as in the Elizabethan home. Our excerpts are from Book 2, Part 2, “Against the Peril of Idolatry”, the longest of the homilies.

Together they represent two central voices of English puritanism: one matter-of-fact and practical, the other polemical, caustic and passionate.

This installation puts the viewer in the active position of image-breaker and image-maker at the same time. In deconstructing the moving images on show, the viewer is involved in both an act of iconoclasm and an act of exploration and re-creation. The images can be explored from all angles. Each new angle of perception transforms the image anew. The viewer can also penetrate through each image into new virtual spaces. Objects become processes; canonical icons become journeys of rediscovery and re-imagination.

This work has been produced in the framework of the Beyond Matter research project, created for the virtual exhibition model of Iconoclash with the support of the ZKM.