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"Do you want to impress your new Jewish general manager? Has a new Taliban invasion been announced? Do you think your life as a good Christian is jeopardized? Would you like to become a Buddhist for a few hours to blend in at the trendy New Age dinner you are going to next week?" With these few simple and straight forward queries, a group of artists from Italy, are introducing their project "Plug'n'Pray". According to Lionello Borean, one of the artists who collaborated at this piece, Paris was a strong source of inspiration as it seemed to be the place where" a certain kind of religious tolerance was acceptable or at least possible". Although the project functions as an e-commerce parody, marketing software for instant religious conversion, the audience might find itself asking questions on world tolerance or freedom of choice.

At a time when digital media is everywhere and information is reached with a click of a button, notions such as social identity, globalization, geographical or cultural space, are brought up and defined by net artists around the world in their quest to break down temporal and spatial barriers. Among these important issues, religion has always been an important tool in the formation and preservation of political powers around the world, representing a strong link between social and economic control. The word "religion" comes from the Latin "religion-, religio", meaning supernatural constraint, sanction, defining a system of attitudes, beliefs or practices; a system which, to most of us represents a cause, a principle held with ardor and faith. With the aid of technology, the artists bring forward the concept of religious conversion in an e-commercialized - form -like art piece. The audience can easily pick and choose a religion such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Muslimism, or Christianity by purchasing on-line and installing on their PC the kit that best suits their wishes and needs. The web site offers everything a consumer would need in order to switch to a new religion and, rather ironically, it is better conceived and equipped than any other product -selling online portal. "Plug'n'Pray" offers online assistance, explanations, rips from the pros, "cultural tips and tricks" and with each kit one receives The Holy Book, the software, the quick Converter, software guides and many more.

Why would anyone convert to a different religion? There are all kinds of people from every religion who convert everyday to other religions. They all claim that having done so gives them some kind of psychological fulfillment. Even people who follow cults make this claim. All true Religions, those which have been revealed, come through the higher minds of their founders. They are in a more intimate and a more spiritual contact with reality. Religion is about spirituality and therefore the main reason people should change religion should be a spiritual one. The irony of "Plug'n Pray" is found in the way that the artists find the reasons of conversion to be anything but spiritual, and subtly define traits of the human character: hypocritically many people choose things in life which work for their economic or social benefits but state otherwise. They find that people should convert because they need "to grab the chance for a career outlook", are "working abroad" or need to gain "a new respectability" in society. The project is an open invitation to alter your social identity, to gain a new understanding of the social order and globalization, or rather to "start your own holy war".
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Site: http://www.plug-pray.org/