Spider/Web Oracle Readings Program
Spider/Web Oracle Readings Program

Hans Ulrich Obrist and Rosa Matteucci partake in Spider/Web Oracle

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Spider/Web Oracle Readings Program

Using the Arachnomancy app during Marco Isaia’s spider/web tour

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Spider/Web Oracle Readings Program

Alex Jordan presenting Human-machine-animal: interactions and interpretations across species boundaries with the aid of machines

 

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2019, La Biennale di Venezia, Spider/Web Pavilion 7, Giardini, Venice, Italy

The Spider/Web Oracle Readings Program at the 58th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia encouraged broader interactions between humans, spiders and other species whose entangled relations are often obscured in the haze of humans’ self-professed priority. Dissipating this fog by calling attention to the symbiotic threads linking human and non-humans, whether these relationships are mutually beneficial, commensal, amensalic, or parasitic, the program shed new light on collective, multi-species futures.

Participants are invited to Spider/Web Pavilion 7 to illuminate these age-old interwoven relations by way of scientific, philosophical, and cultural images or stories. They are comprised of scientists, musicians, theorists, anthropologists, and poets; even meditation experts or tarot readers. Upon entering the Pavilion each participant is met with a dense array of Hybrid Spider/Webs, a novel kind of web typology conceived and realized by Tomás Saraceno with the assistance of multitudes of arachnid kin. These webs, made up of orbs, sheets, tents, and dome-like labyrinths, speak to the complex fabric of inter-species connections; relationships that will be meaningfully decoded throughout the course of the Readings.

As free interpretations of the idea of “reading” collective futures through the spider/web, the individual performances coalesced in relation to the performer and their own unique web of relations, merging together to articulate the interdisciplinary modes of thinking, feeling and knowing the multiple strands of species interconnection in the current age of ecological crisis. The first iteration of Spider/Web Oracle Readings Program ran from 8th-11th May. Further interactions will emerge throughout the duration of May You Live In Interesting Times, Biennale Arte 2019, curated by Ralph Rugoff.

Find further information and the updated events program at arachnophilia.net.

Want to give a reading? Contact us through arachnophilia.net.

Filipa Ramos and Heidi Ballet discussing spider-human relations in their survey of fear  

Filipa Ramos and Heidi Ballet discussing spider-human relations in their survey of fear

 

Spider/Web Oracle Readings Program

8th-11th May

A visitor participating in The Web of Inquiry: Spider-Man with Lukas Feireiss

A visitor participating in The Web of Inquiry: Spider-Man with Lukas Feireiss

Hans Ulrich Obrist, the Serpentine Gallery curator, engaged with arachnomancy and palm reading through the interpretation of Italian fiction writer and tarot expert Rosa Matteucci.

 

Filipa Ramos and Heidi Ballet presented an abridged survey of fear using snippets from film and literature that featured spider-human relations, shedding particular light on the way in which the terror and disgust elicited by these creatures was naturalized through these mediums. Excerpts from Haydn Allen´s thesis, which he used as a mode to surpass his arachnophobia, were also read.

 

David Zeitlyn interacted with spiders through “nggam du”, a spider divination practice from Cameroon, prompting people to think about how they see the world.

 

Stavros Katsanevas took visitors on a journey through the most important scientific revolutions of the last century, as well as their ethical and epistemological consequences.

 

Marco Isaia toured the area surrounding the Giardini Biennale, highlighting the collaborating weaving occurring between Nephila Senegalensis, Cyrtophora Citricola and Holocnemus Pluchei spiders, shedding light onto the myriad species inhabiting even the most ordinary ecologies.

 

Alex Jordan discussed how we might try to cross the modal bridge and gain insight into the meaning of spider and animal communication, using recent developments in machine learning and dimensionality reduction.

David Zeitlyn exploring the topic of spider divination in Cameroon

David Zeitlyn exploring the topic of spider divination in Cameroon

Boštjan Perovšek held two acoustic ambient sessions on vibrational and sonic landscapes.

 

Lukas Feireiss collectively performed his arachnomancy-inspired writing with audience members by handing out notes to read out loud. Focused on the pop-cultural figure of Spider-Man, his talk offered a playful attempt to untangle the complex web of philosophical questions brought on by the web-slinging superhero and his world.

Boštjan Perovšek’s sonic spider/web tour  

Boštjan Perovšek’s sonic spider/web tour

 

COLLABORATORS

Rosa Matteucci, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Filipa Ramos, Heidi Ballet, David Zeitlyn, Stavros Katsanevas, Marco Isaia, Alex Jordan, Rudy Favaro, Boštjan Perovšek, and Lukas Feireiss.