The Bartlett School of Architecture


Metropolis Arcana: Site Predictions

Anastasia Balykina

YouTube Widget Placeholderhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWc5oosQdrU

This project develops another way collecting information on the streets of London. The inspiration offered by the card system, Tarot, creates an intimate atmosphere between a participant and researcher and can be playful tool, highlighting questions concerning the future of an area. 
East London became a platform for trying out the specific Tarot, called ‘Metropolis Arcana’, that I designed. This area contains different layers of urban development in one environment: Hackney Wick (the past), Old Stratford (the present) and Olympic Stratford (the future).
During the period between May and December 2018, I consulted local people about their views on the future of the area, using methods drawn from the performing arts which responded to the theatricality of a Tarot reading. The work includes performances using the ‘Metropolis Arcana’ Tarot deck for ‘site predictions’, with data and stories from the district documented with East Arcana Tarot deck, an artist’s book which describes the method, and a video that documents the process. 
‘Metropolis Arcana’ is composed of short site-specific stories given to me by people who are living or working in this area. These perspectives can help urban planners, researchers, artists or people interested in a particular part of London to understand the area through the prism of stories and memories about the site.