Reading “Climate Futures” with the ECOTarot Deck
Public Performances, ongoing, 2017 - present
ECOTarot deck [limited edition: screenprint and natural pigments on handmade paper – agave/recycled cotton + linen]
Creator/Designer/Producer/Performer: Adriene Jenik
Deck illustrations, papermaking and screenprinting by Molly Koehn

May we all awaken to the understanding that we walk the same earth, breath the same air, drink from the same finite
water source and affect each other’s spirit.

In this ongoing performance, I use my Eco-Tarot deck to read an individual’s “Climate Future.”

With the deck, I “channel” scientific research and modelled projections related to our changing, human-influenced climate through the layered form and symbolic meanings of tarot. With this practice, as in much of my previous artwork, I seek to catalyze a deep and broad conversation regarding our shared future. Though we have accumulated a great deal of knowledge regarding our rapidly changing environment and humans’ role in shaping it, there are still many in the US who profess “disbelief.” In addition, there are many of us who are convinced that we are negatively affecting our beautiful earth through our cultural focus on accumulation, convenience and thoughtless waste; yet, we have not yet individually or collectively made the radical changes we know are needed to properly steward the planet, sustain human life and diminish suffering.

As an artist, I asked myself what role I could possibly play in this unfolding crisis – how can I best contribute to what is needed at this time? Since facts exist and they are not, in and of themselves, serving to instigate the social and political will to transform our culture; what other approaches can I imagine and offer?

Thought up in May of 2015, a limited edition of the ecoTAROT deck was completed in July 2017 and “climate future” readings began in November of the same year.

The ECOTarot cards don’t tell us anything we don’t already know; rather they shuffle and shift our ideas, beliefs and desires that we carry with us already – foregrounding and underlining our thoughts and concerns. My climate future readings serve to connect people to their own agency in relation to our changing environment. The readings are intimate and often emotionally moving. I understand this practice as improvisational street performance – extending my long-term artistic commitments to both creative improvisation and publicly encountered and engaged art experiences.

*This deck and the performance that it makes possible are dedicated to the memory of my mother, Carol Jane Marie Jenik aka “Zyla” in appreciation for her connection to worlds beyond.

Adriene Jenik, 2018

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