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Science, Technology and Society (STS) Tarot cards

Link to the cards & interpretation: (
Oracle: (; to play with here (

Concept: Denisa Kera
Collaborators: Yair Reshef (Shenkar College of Engineering), Nick Lauer (ASU), Stormy Nesbitt (ASU), Marketa Dolejšová (NUS)
Documentation: (
Video documenting the process:
Parlor of Futures

The "Parlor of futures" is a tarot cards parlor, but also a hacklab, which performs the genealogy of the different ideas and practices related to reading (predicting, foresignt, envisioning) and making futures (through prototyping). The specially designed and prototyped 22 STS "cards" refer to the original themes from the 16th-century Tarot cards used in traditional divination techniques, but they feature present lab on a chip, IoT and other emergent technologies and issues. They use images, but also prototypes (made from open hardware prototypes, including two automated oracles) to support one-to-one “readings” on science and technology controversies or issues, including ICOs and blockchain speculations.

The connection between “reading,” predicting and making futures or between old divination techniques and present "anticipatory thinking protocols" (future scenario methods) supports understanding and reflecting upon our current hopes, fears, and expectations about emergent technologies and innovation. The physical prototypes in the shape of a card also perform various emergent materials and technologies in order to demystify them and enable direct experience with technologies we only read about.

The lab-parlor is dedicated to Louise Michel, a 19th century anarchist and member of the Paris commune, who is one of the first speculative designers and futurists. Through her alter-egos, Marie Violette Tranchot and Octave Obdurant, she described prototypes, which combine future speculations, physical models and machines with political activism. Her "Cosmographic Comparator" (Conducteur à Comparaisons Cosmographiques), "speculative crown" and the "utopian umbrella" are tools, which integrate the possible with the actual, science with poetry, and serve to change the ways we experience and envision our future. Her anarchist and geeky heroine, Marie Violette, used these tools in the novel to start revolutions around the world described as “snipping the umbilical of the globe”. The parlor-lab designs and performs similar “machines” for scenarios to “contaminate” our future with history and the history with hopes for the future because "history without utopia is dead in spirit and fact, but the future cannot live on dreams alone; any science worthy of the name has no other purpose than the visionary improvement of life on earth". Michel’s aka Violette’s “integration of the actual and the possible" is the goal of the workshops and readings that combine old iconography, dreams, and utopias with present DIY prototyping techniques to poetically explore science and technology controversies through aesthetic circuits and microfluidics, which define our present electronics, but also biotech dreams and visions.

The project "Parlour of Futures" was created for the EMERGE 2017 festival ( at ASU in Arizona during 2016/2017. Part of the parlour designed by Marketa Dolejšová specializes on Food futures (


Emergent science and tech tarot cards






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