Week 43

Ruminating on Venzuela

A tapestry my grandmother gave me when I visited Venezuela in the early 2000s.

A tapestry my grandmother gave me when I visited Venezuela in the early 2000s.



This week I was ruminating on my experimental play “documentary project,” and switched the subject to be inline with my thesis research. The iconography of the above tapestry kept swirling in my mind, so I decided to start tracing over the pattern to create the pieces of a puzzle, that I can use paper prototyping and maybe laser-cutting. On the right you can see the first iteration of outlines using Wacom’s bamboo plate. I’m going to do a second pass to see if I can get some cleaner lines, and more of the symbols traced.

I am still working on the mechanics of this interactive documentary, but think that it will have a branching narrative structure where you will be making decisions about migrating to the United States from Venezuela. This narrative will be based on one of my family member’s experiences, but will be partially fictionalized for the game play.


A reading centered around nostalgia, longing, and coping with the crisis in Venezuela.

  • PAST: two of swords, Truce (blue)

    • Perhaps this indicates the stalemates that were experienced by many Venezuelan families about whether they agreed or disagreed with the “democratic”, “socialist” leadership of the Chavez’ administration. The blue indicates conflicts in regards to communication and the abilities for folks to reconcile their differences. This card feels really perplexing as it evokes a sense of balance or reconciliation in the word truce, but then is contradicted by the combative swords. Perhaps its the good ol’ “agree to disagree,” but really what Venezuela needs is more balance and acknowledgment of it’s citizens’ needs. Like healing, or idk, BREAD AND TOILET PAPER. #bitterAF

  • PRESENT: Ten of Swords, Disaster (RED)

    • Well this couldn’t be more accurate. Venezuela, at the present moment, is an absolute disaster. The actions that have been taken by Maduro have only pushed the country into further disarray, e.g. #1million%inflation rate. There’s an undoubtable feeling of powerlessness when looking at this card. If anything it enrages me more, and is an indicator of much needed civil action and engagement. With all death and destruction there’s resurrection. Some say that this card indicates hope, and that change is possible. To me, the red indicates that this “disaster” is connected to the earth, e.g. Venezuela’s oils and minerals, and whether there is stability in raping the earth of its resources. #smh

  • Future: The Universe 21, Divine Light (Purple) * Upside down *

    • This is hard. My idealist visions of Venezuela seem filled with nostalgia and foolish desire. They aren’t entirely wrong or to be discounted, there’s just A LOT to unearth to even begin to imagine a future where Venezuela can sustain itself again. Unfortunately it seems that the vibrance of the country has crystallized and lost to a space and time out of reach. Despite the challenges, this card evokes a greater sense of healing, restoration, and (hopefully) new beginnings. It will be a long and hard road to reach the levels of fulfillment and harmony that this card embodies. #sigh


Collecting the borax from my experiments.

Collecting the borax from my experiments.

Although I didn’t do any borax experiments this week, I gathered the crystalline residue into a bottle for future use, began organizing the new crystal artifacts, and collected some additional objects for experimentation, e.g. driftwood, broken shells…

TBH I wasn’t feeling so great at the end of the week, so M was kind enough to stroll along the beach with me to help gather these goodies. Thank you human!

I also spent a bit of time reading about alchemy and listening to some podcasts on ritual, so far my favorite has been:

Zoe Sandovalmfa, ritual, venezuela