Artist: Katy B Plummer
Date Installed
Installed January 2021
Abercrombie Lane, Sydney
Project: City Art Laneways
Tags: Performance, Video

Abercrombie Lane, North Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Artwork Description

We Are All Astonishingly Wise is an experimental oracle, designed for an intuitive reckoning of uncertain times. Your card, drawn for you from a deck of 48 by the ‘ghost’ (a friendly fuzzy spirit from the future), forms a unique divinatory prompt to offer a fresh understanding of your current moment.

The artist has invited two ‘art witches’ to interpret these cards, in the hopes that their intuitive skills can be of service to you in your search for clarity. You are also invited to trust your own gut response: how might these scraps of poetic text help you understand your own situation?

“When order crumbles, everything can be an oracle; courting transrational understandings of our experience can help us in our quest to undermine the toxic foundations of the old world.”

Katy B Plumber

The viewer is enticed to enter by a warm pink glow, and a series of mysterious painted signs. As the viewer turns into Abercrombie Lane, they are met by a large video monitor with a cute pink furry ghost wearing a crown and snazzy green shoes.

Near the base of the screen there is a motion sensor button. The viewer waves their hand in front of the button, setting ‘the ghost’ in motion. The ghost draws an oracle card from her deck and presents it to the viewer.

The oracle can be left hanging as a strange portentous riddle, to be intuitively understood and applied to the viewer’s own experience. Or the viewer can scan a QR code that will take them to some carefully crafted, open-ended interpretations.

You are invited to safely visit Abercrombie Lane for the true oracle experience.

The artist

Katy B Plummer
Katy B Plummer makes complex, messy video installations. Each work is a kind of spell, packed with layers of personal biography, scraps of history, recycled narratives. She braids together spontaneously generated incantations, cinematic storytelling, anachronistic textile practices and high school theatre aesthetics. She suggests that our complicity with toxic hierarchies will not protect us from them, and that theatre and witchcraft are legitimate political strategies.

The readers

Nicole Barakat
Nicole Barakat is a queer femme, SWANA artist born and living on Gadigal Country. She works to unpick the borders of art and life with deep listening and intuitive processes. Her practice is grounded in the necessity of imagination and art in transforming the conditions of everyday life. Nicole’s divination practice is rooted in remembering and regathering her ancestral knowing, including reading coffee cups and more recently working with plants and flower essences for community care and healing.

Carla Jamieson
Carla Jamieson (they/them) is an artist, writer, tarot reader and teacher living and working on Gadigal land (Sydney, Australia). Their practice uses tarot, art therapy, storytelling, ancestors and pedagogy to foster critical and creative thinking, empowerment, trauma healing and resistance.

The team

Kuba Dorabialski
Video production, project manager
Kuba Dorabialski is an artist and writer originally from Wrocław, Poland. He works primarily in video installation. He’s interested the intersections of mysticism, radical leftist politics and the personal poetic. His tools are geography, language and cinema history.

Flora Suen
Technical adviser, web designer
Flora Suen (she/her) is an expert in creating inclusive environments in digital, civic and arts education, with a focus on amplifying structurally marginalised voices in their local communities. After completing a masters in public history in Berlin, Flora developed and implemented anti-discrimination education programs online and face-to-face for young people and educators in Europe.

Suen is also a cofounder of the queer feminist initiative Basics for Feminists at the Stechlin Institut, which was an annual residency for trans, inter and female participants to share skills and develop their socially-engaged creative practices.

City Art Laneways

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic the City of Sydney invited thinkers and artists to create temporary public artworks that enliven our civic spaces.

We received a huge 230 responses from more than 200 artists. After much deliberation the evaluation panel recommended the proposals from 4 artist teams.

These artworks represent four very different responses to the artist brief. But together they provide bold, fresh and meaningful ways to reimagine city spaces and encourage Sydneysiders to rethink and revisit their city.

The City Art Laneways temporary public art program runs from January to March 2022.

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