I have been working on forming the architectural brief that the shrines should sit within by first looking at various precedents that highlight the pilgrims movement and ritual flow in the spaces:
This is really rigid but the diagram is helpful in highlighting spatial movement and also the important objects within the rituals. I started comparing this with a modern day shinto shrine and did a diagram that highlights the progression within the shrine complex:
I’ve discovered that each place of worship moves people around the space in stages (much like what I am trying to do with my five shrines) and it starts off with cleansing oneself or ‘death to oneself’, as what I’ve read, before coming into contact with a divine being. This is done either by physically washing one’s hands and feet, or drinking holy water or walking through a gate that allow a person to move from the real world into the spiritual realm. The second stage requires the person to move into a smaller shrine to reflect on past deeds and/or atone for sins by calculating what sort of offering is needed by. The third stage is to send a wish/prayer to the gods by inscribing it on a plaque (presently, they would just write a wish on a wooden slate and hang it up in a designated shrine booth). The fourth stage is to commune with other pilgrims in the oratory to meditate and the fifth stage is to finally worship the enshrined divine being (the finale of approaching the Holy of Holies).
What I think is interesting is the physicality described in each stage (the objects, materiality and spatial conditions) and how they move from a gate to a large sanctuary that houses groups of people. The journey of approaching the divine requires so much more preparation in that sense, and as Kevin Rhowbotham explains in Staged Architecture:
‘An architecture of event which concentrates on the production of situations rather than the mute lithic mass…a latent urbanism in which the city could be reconfigured by an act of mind…the squat, the street demonstration, the rave, are its legacy.’ (Holding, 2000, pg. 8)
I am currently drawing out each stage in relation to the five pillars I’ve identified in the eternal parade and trying to relate them programmatically as well. I really like the idea of designing this pilgrimage to consumerism with a ‘pop-consumer fin-de-millennium position’ (Holding, 2000, pg.8). And similarly to how Mark Fisher talks about the audiences at rock concerts that are ‘presented with quasi-rituals, oven-ready lifestyles; like shopping malls, the stadia becomes a post-modern site of happy consumption’ (Holding, 2000, pg.9). I think the eternal parade could work that way as well, creating instantaneous mockery sites of happy consumption for its pilgrims by having ridiculous forms of rituals carried out in each as well.
I am currently working on defining each shrine more and hopefully I could lay out the design drafts for the upcoming tutorial.
BTW, here is the updated video. I’ve added in the sounds and edited some bits; still working on the abrupt ending, not quite sure how to sum it up nicely yet.