Sala Rossa, Montreal, Canada
May 4, 2018

ArtistsRuby Kato Atwood, Rippleganger, Philippe Leonard, Mirror Play, thisquietarmy

Divination by examining animal bones and the cracks produced in them when heated is known from many different cultures and historical periods. The most well known is perhaps the early form of pyromancy and osteomancy during the Shang dynasty (c. 1200-1045 BCE) of ancient China, where ox scapulas or tortoise plastrons were heated with fire, thus producing cracks. The diviner then observes the shape, number and color of the crack and interprets the prophecy to the King. Each oracle bone bears the pictographic script of the divination session in detail. Some bones also contain genealogical, meteorological and astronomical data, including the earliest records of a solar eclipse.

Divination arts and rituals are often seen as a powerful spiritual act, a guiding force to the collective psyche of the people. Oracle Bones is an exploration of the subconscious mind through still and moving images, light, sound, and movement. Artists of Asian heritage and their collaborators are invited to perform metaphorical themes of past diviners, with the goal of sharing the rich audiovisual experience with the audience. It is an attempt to understand the mythological symbolism of divination from within us, as a collective ritual for positive transformation.