Dark Matter Cinema consists of a series of special meetings of the Nocturnal Committee conceived to foster a mode of regarding and making use of cinema that exposes it to the possibilities of infra-image perception and liminal states of consciousness, reaching towards the dark matter that haunts the cinematographic image. At the same time we will try to tease out alternative narrative and even divinatory possibilities that may be harboured in a single frame of film, requiring no more than the right encounter with other instants similarly torn from time for them to be revealed.
Royal College of Art, Lower Gulbenkian Gallery - Nocturnal Committee views, photos courtesy Echo Chamber
Each session may begin and/or end with a collective reading of the Dark Matter Cinema Tarot – for which we have replaced all the face and numbered cards of the major and minor arcana with 78 still images dredged up from our own cinematic memory. This procedure questions the traditional archetypes of the tarot through the use of these shards of cinema that constitute the (un)common debris of a modern collective unconscious. Removed from their own narrative contexts, these frozen instants of cinema may begin to function autonomously and enter into new constellations, correspondences, dichotomies and alliances. The DMC tarot hopes to “make use” of cinema in a way that can “infract” upon the imaginary of daily life and the questions it poses.
For us, cinema is precisely the site of the emergence of a “minor image” that invests the more mundane aspects of the Minor Arcana with the enigmatic symbolic force of the Major. In this sense we consider all the cards of the DMC Tarot minor, but having major powers.
The assembled committee are invited to pose questions, which we will try to answer together by asking the tarot cards, with each reading forming a chain of gestures, postures, situations and relations that may also set us off down unforeseen narrative paths. This will serve as preparation for us to enter a night where all cows are dark, and images sleepwalk in the folds of time.