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1851992023-Mar-06 12:33
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Tangible Cloud Oracle

The Tangible Cloud Oracle is a modified publication of the famous Smith-Waite Tarot cards, designed by Pamela “’Pixie”’ Colman Smith (1871–1951). The cards are based on designs and ideas from the 2022 Tangible Cloud and Art Meets Radical Openness workshops in which participants created a set of cards with executable words that can help think through more sustainable artistic practices making use of tech; from hardware to software, from websites to types of services that can be run on a server. The deck brings together counter-narratives about technology in solidarity with human and non-human others.

The cards are inspired by pattern languages in the way these can form hypertexts, a network of linked ideas and practices that can inform and orient action. The oracle is a type of pattern language in a highly compressed form: a set of executable words that express practices challenging the tech industry’s master narrative of progress and innovation which results in extraction, pollution and depletion. It is a materialist approach to divination, not abstracted from, but entirely embedded in material environments and ecologies; rather than trying to capture the future through quantification and abstraction of repeating patterns, performing a repetition of the present; it attempts to actively and collectively make space for reflection on the present in order to open paths to possible futures.

Card design and text by Marloes de Valk. Coloring, design of the manual and production by Alex Leray. Box design by Muriel Gerhart. Riso Printing by Ronan Deriez. Typeface: Basteleur by Keussel Studio (SIL Open Font License).

This project was realized with the support of FRArt, in the context of the artistic research Clearing Up the Mist (a.k.a Tangible Cloud).

Copyleft (CC4r) Brussels, March 2023. The sources can be found here.