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Force Field

2023-24

Augmented reality app and site-specific drawing in liquid chalk
Dimension variable


In collaboration with Justina Yeung (AR App Developer); Shengnan Dong (3D Modeling); A La Una (Audio); The Chrysalis Kali Collective (Orasyon Text)


This project presents an orasyon - a special prayer, incantation or mantra that is mentally or verbally recited before combat as a protective armor. It is a mode of psychic self-defense that is unique to Filipino Martial Arts and Philippine oral traditions. It asks for the unison of mind, body, and spirit and is believed to provide magical powers and invulnerability that enables the user to perform incredible and unbelieveable feats, such as withstand bullets and weapon attacks, as well as heal injuries. The efficacy of the orasyon requires belief and intention behind the recitiation that gives individual words their significance and pyschosomatic power.




First presented at The Shed’s Open Call in 2021 as part of Garcia’s piece, The Headless Headhunt, the AR app functioned as a digital frontier for the installation. This second iteration, however, serves as a standalone piece, intended to for one to access their inner warrior. In this version the Orasyon encircles the viewer from head to toe, slowing spinning around their body, enacting a “force field.” Its purpose is to be activated by the user when necessary in any location as a spiritual shielding, virtual barrier of defense, and a safety affirmation.

The AR app is accompanied by a hand-drawn image on the window of the gallery, which adopts the talismanic tradition of anting-anting. This practice involves codifying the verbal orasyon in image form and is often tattooed on the body for an added layer of protection. The piece also incorporates a hand drawn QR code, which, once scanned on the viewer’s personal device, directs them to a link to download the app in order to activate the AR artwork.


Online documentation of The Chrysalis Kali Members who participated in the second of two collaborative Orasyon writing workshops in 2021.


This Orasyon was co-authored by the Chrysalis Kali Collective in 2021 and includes contributions by founder Kristen Cabildo, Katrina Cabanban, Princess Manuel, Noelle de la Paz, Nicole Reyes, Ezza Valdez, and exhibiting artist, Caroline Garcia.

This collective of Filipina/x women and gender expansive femmes have gathered since 2018 to train in Filipino Martial Arts under the mentoring of Cabildo, specifically with a focus on decolonization through practice and embodiment. They predominantly train in Kali (also known as Arnis or Eskrima) which emphasizes weapon-based fighting with sticks, knives, and bladed weapons, as well as “open hand” techniques without weapons. For this project, Garcia facilitated writing workshops to collaboratively create this text to address the collective’s needs in the culture of today’s socio-political landscape.

The app includes a soundscape that was composed by A La Una, featuring the voices of individuals in the collective, reading lines from the full Orasyon text. There is also an animation of butterflies, specifically designed as the nymphalis antiopa (also known as the Mourning Cloak), which in its immature form, is covered in red-tipped spiny bristles for protection.


Exhibition History: Elizabeth Foundation of the Arts (2024); Montclair State University Galleries (2023)