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The Cassandra Complex

A black and white image of the fortune telling machine
The Cassandra Complex


April 2016 – present


Cassandra is an interactive, autonomous fortune telling machine.

She was inspired by a 1970’s arcade machine (Morgana by Baccus Games Inc.) and evolved out of a long-standing interest in how we construct and maintain beliefs.

Some of the questions driving the project were:

How are beliefs formed?

How are beliefs preserved?

To what or  whom do we give authority to shape our beliefs?


Using traditional fortune telling techniques Cassandra provides unique readings in response to individual visitors.

How closely her readings confirm to, or predict, stories about an individual’s sense of self is the space where the subject creates what is essential about the work.

Cassandra's projected face


The Gallery, Stanhope Street, Liverpool. 1st-3rd April 2016. Part of the Threshold Festival

Hub Artists Studio, Elevator Buildings, Liverpool. 10th-15th July. To coincide with the opening week of the Liverpool Biennial

Port Eliot, St Germans, Cornwall. 28th-31st July. Exhibited as part of the Science thread at the Port Eliot Festival

Cassandra @ Port Elliot Festival, July 2016
Cassandra @ Port Elliot Festival, July 2016


Production team:

The Cassandra Complex is a work of collaborative, technical theatre. The team who brought her to life are:


Jen Allanson: Chief Wrangler. R & D. Script development. Stage, Set & Props. 

Simon Lock: Chief Technical Wizard. Invention. Gadgetry. Installation. Performance

Lesley Peate: Assistant Technical Wizard. Stage, Set & Props. Installation 

David Allanson: Assistant Wrangler. Research. Installation. Logistics

Jane MacNeil: Videographer. Documentarian. Social Media

Mary Pearson: Performance & Improvisation

Frank Moore: Cabinet Builder 

Ken Bullock: Sign Writer 

Jacqui Lovgreen: Inspirational conversations. Stage, Set and Props.