Crude Oil Divination

In this performance-lecture with poetry, I guide viewers in a divination ritual called lecanomancy, a type of scrying ritual conducted by tossing objects into water. In this version, I combined the practice with elaeomancy (oil divination) by tossing pieces of coral into a bowl of oil and water. Images of oil shifting and changing shape are interpreted to generate poetic text which is composed live in real-time. Viewers were asked to interact during the divination performance via Twitch chat. The writing I produced responded directly to the comments and questions. By translating and discussing the shapes that spontaneously form in a bowl of water and oil, I engage in a practice of writing inspired by the occult poetics of Hoa Nguyen, Bhanu Kapil, and CA Conrad, among others.

Crude Oil Divination is a response to the recent approval of the multibillion dollar A2A (Alaska to Alberta) freight rail project which will serve as an alternative to oil pipelines like Keystone XL in North America.