Castle of Crossed Destinies: When the Sonic Becomes Physical

Castle of Crossed Destinies is a transnational experiment in feminist solidarity using divinatory tools and creative techniques for collective knowledge making.

Castle of Crossed Destinies
Aouefa Amoussuvi / Berlin, Germany | Sasha Engelman / London, UK | Olivia Berkowicz / Göteborg, Sweden — Aug 30, 2021

Image credit: Castle of Crossed Destinies (Aouefa Amoussuvi, Sasha Engelmann, Olivia Berkowicz)

Over the past year, COCD took shape in a series of conversations between Amoussouvi, Berkowicz and Engelmann on the practices and histories of tarot reading, amateur radio and raw cacao. These modest devices and rituals became vehicles for untangling colonial processes, gendered notions of technology and transgenerational memory. COCD has been presented in three 1-hour sonic works hosted by the Institute of Endotic Research (TIER) and Akademie Schloss Solitude.

Through the Web Residency, COCD will test new formats and aim to reach diverse audiences while building solidarity through analog, digital and political methodologies. During the online residency, the collective started developing a card game. The game introduces the three technologies of tarot reading, DIY pirate radio, and raw cacao, and applies guiding principles and key textures for practicing techno-feminist visions. A future public workshop would involve activities on tarot reading as tactical exercise for future dreaming, radio as medium for planetary collectivisation and raw cacao as speculative biochemical therapy. 

T
he collective is named after writer Italo Calvino’s book The Castle of Crossed Destinies and was initiated as a 3-part sonic project by geographer Sasha Engelmann, curator Olivia Berkowicz and curator and biophysicist Aouefa Amoussouvi whilst being fellows at Akademie Schloss Solitude in 2020-2021. The Castle of Crossed Destinies encounters merge rituals, technologies, feminist narratives in science and art, as well as personal experiences and reflections on transgenerational memories and migrations.  

The collective is named after writer Italo Calvino’s book The Castle of Crossed Destinies and was initiated as a 3-part sonic project by geographer Sasha Engelmann, curator Olivia Berkowicz and curator and biophysicist Aouefa Amoussouvi whilst being fellows at Akademie Schloss Solitude in 2020-2021. The Castle of Crossed Destinies encounters merge rituals, technologies, feminist narratives in science and art, as well as personal experiences and reflections on transgenerational memories and migrations.

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