Fantastic Prayers

a collaborative multimedia project by Constance DeJong, Tony Oursler, and Stephen Vitiello

a CD-ROM published and produced by Dia Center for the Arts and Prop Foundation with appearances by Vito Acconci, David Bowie, Kim Gordon, Mike Kelley, Tracy Leipold, Julia Scher, and many others

The Environments
Technical Requirements
Setup Instructions
About the Artists
Copyright Information
The 1995 Fantastic Prayers website
Order CD ($39.95)

The Environments

A collection of texts by writer/performer Constance DeJong, electronic effigy constructs by artist Tony Oursler, and music and sound by composer Stephen Vitiello, Fantastic Prayers describes an urban landscape that is inscribed with memories of lives lived, objects possessed or discarded, and places inhabited.

In the eight magical environments of Fantastic Prayers, you, the user, become a visitor who, like an archeaologist, is invited to dig through and uncover fragmentary narratives, laden with physical and psychological histories. In the Place Where Lost Things Go, you may uncover a ring with an inscription (T.M.L. - to my love, tell me lies, talk my language...), money, a silver shoe, or musical instruments. Or, Ludlow Street may lead you on an unforeseeable journey down an urban street, where an I-Ching reading is provided by the corner pay phone. Excavate the Graveyard to reveal David Bowie in a cameo appearance as the Director. The chemical makeup of a strand of Hair betrays its owner. Your swim through the abandoned Natatorium will leave the space transformed. In the gamelike environment of the Empathy Wheel, you are invited to "play" with actress Tracy Leipold's emotions. Walk through the inhabited 3-D room Walls That Speak to find out who else may be lurking. Or, in a text-driven section, stitch together the physical characteristics of a Jacket, where traces of many lives are interwoven, including that of a young boy in India who loves films, and Adolf von Baeyer who was first to produce synthetic indigo. Take a five-minute audio tour of Fantastic Prayers. Tour can be played on any CD player.


There are eight saturated environments of Fantastic Prayers, where you, like an archaeologist, uncover fragments of narratives, laden with liminal histories: Ludlow Street, Lost Things, Hair, Graveyard, Walls That Speak, Jacket, Natatorium, and Empathy Wheel.

A video eye icon, which looks to the left, right, and center and is controlled by the mouse, directs movement from environment to environment. The video eye is accessible as the mouse rolls over the lower left corner of the screen, except for in the Empathy Wheel, where the eye can be found as a button on the wheel. The video eye operates through a mouse click, which navigates forward to the next environment, back to the previous environment, or restarts the current environment, depending upon which way the eye is looking (right, left, or center). Additionally, in Ludlow Street links from various sites along the street provide entry into environments non sequentially. On Ludlow Street, the video eye appears on the screen to call attention to these links.

The video eye is available from anywhere in the CD-ROM, except from some subscreens, for example those in Jacket, which return to the main Jacket interface through a jacket icon also located in lower left of the screen.

Cursors indicate types of navigation within environments.
The primary cursors and their corresponding actions are as follows:

clickable hotspot
rollover hotspot
VR object
zoom in
zoom out
enter or exit a subscreen
turn around
directional movement

Rollover videos can be interrupted by rolling back over the hotspot. Videos triggered by a click can be interrupted by clicking again.

environment sequence*

Ludlow Street <> Lost Things <> Hair <> Graveyard <> Walls That Speak <> Jacket <> Natatorium <> Empathy Wheel <> Exit/Credits

Ludlow Street > all other environments

*use the orange letters as keyboard shortcuts. For more navigation shortcuts, please see the pages for the individual environments.

Technical Requirements

Minimum Requirements for PC:
Windows® 95, 98, or NT4
Pentium 200 MHz PC or better, (Pentium II or III recommended)
32MB RAM (64MB recommended)
SVGA monitor 640x480, thousands of colors
25MB hard disk space
20X CD-ROM drive
Windows-compatible sound card

Minimum Requirements for Macintosh:
System 7.1 or later
200 MHz PowerPC processor or better
Monitor 640x480, thousands of colors
25MB hard disk space
20X CD-ROM drive

Setup Instructions

I. installing Fantastic Prayers
Windows® 95, 98, NT4
1 Insert the CD-ROM.
2 a) If your computer has AutoPlay enabled, the setup screen will appear after a few seconds.
b) If your computer doesn't have AutoPlay enabled, click Start, then Run.
Type d:\setup (if d represents your CD-ROM drive).
3 Follow the on-screen setup instructions.

II. running Fantastic Prayers
1 Insert the CD-ROM.
2 a) If AutoPlay is enabled on your computer, the program will start up automatically.
b) If your computer doesn't have AutoPlay enabled, click Start, then Programs, then Fantastic Prayers. To quit Fantastic Prayers at any time: press Escape or control-Q.

III. performance tips
1 Experiment with the Options settings.
2 If you have enough space on your hard disk, uninstall Fantastic Prayers and then reinstall it but this time check off more components to install.

About the Artists

Constance DeJong lives and works in New York. Since the 1970s she has produced avantgarde writing in performances and installations, which combine the spoken and written word with sound. She has collaborated with Tony Oursler on a number of other works, including a videotape Joyride TM (1988) and a live fifty-minute performance, Relatives and is currently working on a sound installation for the banks of the Thames River, London.

Tony Oursler's work in the mediums of video, sculpture, installation, performance, and painting has been exhibited extensively in the U.S., Europe, and Japan, including Metro Pictures, New York; Portikus, Frankfurt; and Documenta, Kassel. He currently has a major retrospective exhibition at the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown, Massachusetts, which will travel to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, among other institutions.

Stephen Vitiello is an electronic musician and sound artist. Since 1988, he has collaborated with musicians, choreographers and visual artists, including Nam June Paik, Pauline Oliveros, Frances-Marie Uitti, Jem Cohen, John Jasperse. Several CDs of Stephen Vitiello's music have been published, including The Light of Falling Cars (JDK, 1999) and Scratchy Marimba (Sulphur, 2000). His installations have been seen at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Lyon; Postmasters Gallery, New York; and at P.S.1, New York.

Design Director: Steven Gomez Dean is a New York-based new media designer and information architect, whose work ranges from interactive digital design to 3D computer animation. He has handled a wide array of projects: in addition to the Fantastic Prayers CD-ROM project for Dia, his recent work includes the launch of several not for-profit and commercial websites, a short animation for Hal Hartley's film "The Book of Life," and 3D graphics for Tokyo Bay project designed by the architectural team of Arakawa + Madeline Gins. Other clients include the New York Public Art Fund and various architectural firms, including Rafael Vinoly Architects.


(for credits specific to individual environments, please follow the links to those pages)

published and produced by
Dia Center for the Arts and Prop Foundation

project director, Dia Center for the Arts
Karen Kelly

director, Dia Center for the Arts
Michael Govan

curator, Dia Center for the Arts
Lynne Cooke

design director
Steven Gomez Dean


unless otherwise noted, all music is by Stephen Vitiello, words are by Constance De Jong, and images are by Tony Oursler

3D computer animation
Iris Benado

digital video compositing
Mario Geissler, Dirk Lindner

audio tracks recorded and mixed by
Bill Seery, Mercer Media, unless otherwise noted

production assistants
Bettina Funcke, Tom Hines, John Kim, Annie Lee, Daniel Lefcourt, Alvin Martinez, Zoe Pettijohn, Jon Putman, Jeremy Shaw, Eric Smith, Mitch Stripling

jacket design
ReVerb with Constance De Jong

title and package design
Laura Fields

support for this project has generously been provided by
Prop Foundation
Beck's Beer
Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund
Arranged Introductions, a Project of Tyler School of Art/Temple University
Harvestworks Inc./Studio PASS Artist-in-Residence Program
In-kind support was received from Intel
special thanks also to
Mark Taylor and the Center for Technology in the Arts and Humanities at Williams College

Copyright Information

Copyright © 2000 Dia Center for the Arts and Prop Foundation. All rights reserved. Printed and duplicated in the United States of America. Portions copyright © Constance De Jong, Tony Oursler, and Stephen Vitiello. All rights reserved. Portions copyright © 2000 codeHorse, Inc. All rights reserved. Patents pending. QuickTime and QuickTime logo are trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc., used under license. Director® copyright © 1994, 1997 Macromedia, Inc. Made with Macromedia is a trademark of Macromedia, Inc. Any copying, lending, public exhibition, public performance, or broadcast of this CD-ROM without the expressed written consent of the copyright owners is prohibited. Licensed for individual use only. Technical support is available by sending e-mail to