Prayer helmet

As part of his ongoing exploration of Religious Technological Artifacts, New York-based Canadian artist Paul Davies has built the Prayer Antenna, a porcupine-like helmet that allow its wearer to receive signals from God.


The thrift-store motor-cycle helmet is covered with antennae quills, and fitted with sufficient surveillance technology to receive signals from the gods. The helmet is mounted to the wall on an ornate arm and a small kneeling stool is provided. To use the Antenna the worshipper must kneel on the stool and inset their head into the helmet. The visor is blacked out. Integrated headphones allow the supplicant to experience the signals. Sufficient controls allow him/her to tune the signals.

Paul Davies explained me that “the helmet works very simply. There are two radio transmitters out in the museum/gallery/whatever and they transmist the amibiant sounds (people talking, etc) to the left and right channel of radio recievers hooked up to headphones inside the helmet (so each ear is a distinct source). The interactivity is the simple act of kneeling and putting your head into the helmet. What you hear is other people (what is god if not other people.)”

“People mostly like it and they know right away without any prompting how they are suposed to interact with the sculpture. I thought the religous theme would be more difficult but I showed this piece at a major museum in New York and they had not issues about that.”

Wanna try? The helmet is part of BAPLab, July 22 in Brooklyn.

Helmet delirium: Toaster helmets, Audio/Viscera, Portable brain scanner, The Meat Helmet, Buddhist monks wearing helmets to protect them in case of falling rocks, Brain Tumour helmets with Microwaves, Iso-phone, Tele-Actor, Surroundings Defend System, etc.