exul mater

Jasmine T. Otto and Angus G. Forbes

"exul mater" is a computerized oracle deck, questioning cybernetic power and identity, which is performed by a querent who arranges illustrated cards to reveal narrative texts. Using combinatorial narrative, it probes the multiple faces of each figure in its encoded myth (heightened by tropes of science fantasy and magical corruption), whose contradictions and diffractions reveal their conflicted interiority.

Its central figure attempts to reconcile a series of illegible tragedies with the totalizing scientific ontology which enabled these self-same triumphs to occur. The mutual incompatibility of these multiple truths is destabilizing, leading to a simultaneous and escalating aggrandizement and loathing of her loved ones.

The spaces in between its figures are sites of escape, of experiences that have not been reconfigured by a colonizing form of military-industrial technology. This rationalizing influence invades their moments together and animates the material forces that tear them apart, attempting merely to form neat strata. This deck argues against clinging to powerful stories for too long, and in favor of messy stories which fail to privilege any one reading, which can disrupt the imbalanced synthesis of history.

About the Artist

Jasmine Otto (portfolio, twitter) is a computational mathematician interested in reifications of complex systems. She is exploring the role of computational creativity in scientific ecologies, including existing and future uses of casual creator support and narrated explorable models. Her creative writing is influenced by the lightness of nature's proving qualities, and the retelling of myths as grounding for uncivilization. She is studying for a PhD in Computational Media at UC Santa Cruz.