Based on the Vedic notion of the mudra, or ritual hand and body position, the Prayharder explores the relationship between rituals of prayer and their intended effects. By assuming ritual postures, we seek to influence our environment. The Prayharder projects three images of Niagara Falls on a screen. The machine is activated when a person successfully adopts a common ritual posture, which is verified by pressure sensors. Based on weather information collected at Niagara Falls (barometric pressure, wind speed, and temperature), the person must maintain that posture for a certain amount of time. When the time goal for each weather reading is reached, the projections will turn off one by one.
The Prayharder seeks to create a commentary of ritual prayer as an institutionally driven act that forces people to conform in body and spirit to achieve their wants or desires. This machine is a model and illustration of this phenomenon. Furthermore, in shamanic traditions, engaging in a long, physical process is a core part of achieving any spiritual transcendence. In this sense, the Prayharder will provide the opportunity for a person to have a spiritual experience in a context where it may be unexpected.