The Book of Jonas

The installation is based on Mihály Babits’ poem: The book of Jonas, which in this case is told by György Bánffy. In this audio-visual work that was commissioned by Trafó contemporary cultural center the position of balls determines the sounds and the projection. The X coordinates control the playback speed, while the Y coordinates control the filter cutoff. The background noises, them music and the generated animation are meant to enhance the poem’s atmosphere.

The visitors can get the most out of the installation if they choose a ball; find the assigned sound source they can control. Then they should choose another one and so on. The participants can also just sit on the balls and listen to the Hörspiel.

The visitors see the world from Jonas’ perspective throughout, which they can control with five balls. With the balls 1-4 they can interact with the sound (these also influence the projection to a certain amount), while ball no. 5 is only for scanning the horizon.

An audio and a visual world was created for all four verses:

1. On the sea

In this scene a thunderstorm can be made.

2. Inside the whale

The peristaltic moving is caused by the constantly changing sound of the whale’s guts.

3. On the market of Ninive

In this part we grabbed the moment when the merchants laugh at the prophet.

4. Watching Ninive

In this verse Jonas is on a top of a hill watching and waiting for 39 day for Ninive to be destroyed.

On the summer of 2011 the Whale was exhibited on festivals and other open-air places and we are planning to continue this trend in 2012, too.


Gergely Kriasztián, Kiss László, Harsányi Réka, Balla A. Benjamin