Somewhere in Pennsylvania, 2017

Three years ago on a Saturday night in rural Pennsylvania, I saw a vision of the future that I cannot shake. I visited an elaborate recreation of the Virgin Mary’s appearance in a French grotto in 1858. A narrow footpath led through a forest to a candlelit statue of the Virgin in a shallow cave. The scene was illuminated by dozens of telephone screens that floated in the gloom like devotional candles.

Hanging back, I watched a strange ritual unfold among the men attending a weekend Catholic retreat. They formed a line in front of the statue, and when the first man knelt to pray, he handed his telephone to the man behind him, who would photograph him praying. After the man finished his prayer, he retrieved his phone and reviewed the image. The next man repeated this process as he knelt before the statue. The photo had become the meaning, the reason for this pilgrimage to kneel before a simulation of the appearance of a ghost.

I took a photo of the statue, too. Our technologies have taught us to document every activity, no matter how personal or sacred; our screens are becoming the way we see the world and ourselves, and it looks like they’re even more potent than religion.

Occult Orientated Crime – Worship Me In the Sanctuary Of Transcendence

The Occult Orientated Crime Album | 2014 | Bandcamp
Each night in 2020, I wrote a short post for a series called Notes From the End of a World because I wanted to etch these days into my memory. Before the world changed completely.
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