German artist Oliver Sturm converted an old photo booth into a ‘prayer booth’.
Called the ‘Pray-O-Mat’ (‘Gebetomat’ in German), the touchscreen prayer booth offers over 300 pre-recorded prayers and incantations in 65 languages.
These include ‘Our Father’ in several languages, Buddhist and Islamic benedictions, Aborigine devotional songs, and chanting of a Jewish congregation.
All users have to do is step into the booth insert money into the machine, and pick one of the 300 pre-recorded prayers and chants.
Sturm collected most of the prayers himself, while some were found in radio archives.
The booth is installed on the grounds of the University of Manchester—at the entrance of St Peter’s House, Oxford Road in UK—as part of the university’s research project ‘Multi-Faith Spaces—Symptoms and Agents of Religious and Social Change’.
“Though the Pray-o-mat is a bit tongue-in-cheek, there is a serious message to what we’re doing,” Dr Ralf Brand, project leader and senior lecturer in Architectural Studies of Manchester Architecture Research Center, said in a statement.
“Successful multi-faith spaces do not need to be flashy or expensive. In many places a small, clean and largely unadorned space can serve adequately.”