exul mater is a computerized oracle deck, questioning cybernetic power and identity. it was presented at (un)continuity, a curated exhibition at ELO 2020. originally scheduled to convene in Orlando, Florida, the exhibition was moved online due to pandemic.

you will reveal the text by arranging cards. in this myth, each figure has many faces. they are witches and lovers, soldiers and mothers, and they cannot always perform themselves consistently.

the figure of the querent aims to reconcile the tragedies that her family and her nation have suffered, and create a story that is legible. to do so, she must use the same totalizing language in which those self-same events represent triumph and progress. she is destabilized by holding both truths, she swings from adoration to loathing and back.

still the spaces between the querent and her loved ones are sites of escape, of experiences that have not yet been reconfigured and rationalized. but they are pervaded by technologies of thought derived from war and conquest.

do not cling to powerful stories for too long, the deck says. seek out messy stories, that might not privilege one reading over others.

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