Tarot Lab is a collaborative art-design experiment merging magic and divination techniques with experimental design and food fiction. The Lab asks questions about our food cultures and futures in the times of ongoing climate apocalypse. The Lab oracle is made of four main elements: Tarot Mobiles, Video Tarot, Tarot of Movement, and the Food Tarot that are manifested through software play, Asana embodiments, and future food scenarios.
The Lab authors, visual artist and performer Darina Alster & design researcher Markéta Dolejšová join their experiences from various worlds to explore the liminal borders between everyday realities and lived fictions; immortal arcanas and futuristic ideologies; tomatoes from the garden and in-vitro grown steak.
Darina experiments with the medium of Tarot in the context of modern technologies. Using old-school mobile phone apparati, the audiences of her Tarot actions engage in direct encounters with various Tarot archetypes. Send a text to the Mother card, a hidden unseen receiver gathering all data that gives prompts to all 21+0 connected elements; check Emperor’s inbox for new messages; experience the personal story of the Magus or the Strength through their personal screens.
Markéta uses Tarot arcanas as a methodological tool to explore the futures of food, science and technology. Her Food Tarot exposes eating and cooking as techno-scientific practices dependent on expert knowledge rather than common sense. The Priestess embodies the future of Ethical Cannibalism, where you eat what you are. The Fool makes vegan cheese from yeast, growing a chaotic microbial universe in his Petri dish. His text message to The Priestess says: “Clear madness is the key of initiation”.
Meanwhile, The Emperor texts The Sun: “I am dominating by serving and serving by dominating. I eat data coming from my body to optimise myself and my world.” Food Neopunks, the recycled Death in the food universe, are dumpster diving and feasting on the waste of capitalism. To eat own Death is an act of freedom. Breaking the system cannot be done without tasting the ruins, nods The Tower.
The Star walks around the room with Oculus Rift on her head and chews a zero-calorie banana. The Moon is high on pills, The Sun is hanging out on Skype. The Last Judgement aka Aeon is still awake, microdosing on psychedelics.
Tarot Lab uses human body, food, and mobile phones as familiar material tools to address issues in our complex and complicated technological pasts, presents and futures. The performative techno-oracle was initiated in the gothic city of Kutna Hora (CZ) in spring 2019, as part of the GASK gallery‘s program: “Stavy mysli / Za obrazem – Obměny a Intervence” (curator: Richard Drury).
There’s more to read in the Tarot Lab zine 🌙🌙🌙
Recent Tarot Lab events
Trondheim [NO] February 2020.
Kutna Hora [CZ] November 2019.
Prague, CZ, July 2019.
The initiation of the Tarot Lab series, with guest Richie Cyngler. Kutna Hora [CZ[ March 2019.