Thursday, December 9, 2010

Ace of Pentacles

So last night, I played a bit of a game with members of I named people speaking in the chatroom, drew from a Tarot card deck, and webcammed myself holding the card. I then stated the name of the card, and the popular interpretation. This provoked responses from confusion to excitement and even fear in some of the members.

I'm not a believer in magic, but I do hold strongly to the idea that when presented with an ambiguous symbol, people tend to give it meaning. I picked up the deck several years ago for an art project; it's not uncommon for "creative types" to go after redesigning a standardized set of 72 illustrations (and lose interest). The challenge is to illustrate without letting your biases show, keeping possible interpretations open for each card.

I'm also a decent cold reader when it comes to Tarot. It can be fun to see how far you can probe without letting your target know, kind of like the board game Operation. A talented cold reader has a strong memory and a quick wit, and can salvage any failed attempt at meaning. Blogging and making images both remind me of cold reading to some extent. There's a lot of probing and failed attempts before people start talking about the content, and it's the work that hits home that people remember.

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