SIMPARCH appropriated the technology of the Stupa, incorporating the contemporary interpretations of the sacred drone in an architectural modeling of consciousness for the University of Southern Maine’s art gallery, This intervention in a 150 year old New England building is an alternative interpretation of the Hindu-Buddhist Stupa, a dome-shaped monument that originally commemorated significant Buddhist teachers through the housing of their relics, and that continue to serve as representations of the enlightened mind.
SIMPARCH researched traditional stupas in designing their resulting composite form. The emphasis however is on the “duplicator” – the artists’ gesture of recreating characteristics of monuments that derive meaning from their devotional environments to a gallery site devoid of such meaning. Traditionally, the stupa is a place for contemplation and the walking meditation of circumambulation – a mental de-accelerator.
Countering tradition, SIMPARCH allows the dome (the anda) to be inhabited as a “celestial vault” for the living. The dome interior, softened and reduced visually with grey wool felt, is a sonic plenum with an ambient minimal drone embodying universal principles of sound and vibration which have been used for millennia to induce shifts in individual consciousness. The traditional name given to these seemingly never-ending undertones, is OM – the formless sound of the heavens, the infinite.