by Geert van Kesteren
Today we no longer turn to God for answers to difficult questions,
but to an algorithm, a new omniscient entity.
About the project
Based in the Holy Land, the bedrock of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Van Kesteren delves into the human agenda of faith. He examines how seek unity, belonging, and acceptance in both ancient and modern manifestations. Believers from all over the world come to the Holy Land to participate in centuries-old ceremonies and traditions, in which their faith almost becomes tangible. It all seems light years away from the perception of the atheist Westerner. But are they really that different?
‘Try to see God as the first virtual reality that man has ever created’, says Van Kesteren. ‘Isn’t our current belief in data and algorithms just as religious?’ Recording your experiences, uploading and sharing it with others seems to be a new life goal to many, becoming part of the worldwide data-flow a new way to give meaning. Today we no longer turn to God for answers to difficult questions, but to an algorithm, a new omniscient entity.
About Geert van Kesteren
Geert van Kesteren made the transition from a front-line news photography to long-term documentary projects, often adopting innovative methods. He was one of the first people to use footage of other people in times of war. But he was ahead of his time, in 2008 it cost him his membership at Magnum Photos.
What Forhanna did
In addition to the installation, we co-produced Geert van Kesteren’s new book. The Believers (design: Mevis & Van Deursen) will be released on September 5th, 2018. In contrast to the monumental video-installation, which seems to resemble a self-thinking supercomputer, the book has the size of the smartphones which we all use to record and share everything we experience.