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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 the 1970’s arcade machine Morgana by Baccus Games Inc.
The impetus to create her comes from a long-standing interest in the mechanisms and power of belief.
Some of the questions driving Casssndra’s development were:
How are our beliefs formed?
Through what processes are our beliefs preserved?
To what, or whom, do we grant authority to shape our beliefs?
Using traditional fortune telling techniques Cassandra provides unique readings in response to individual visitors.
How closely her readings confirm – or predict – stories about an individual’s sense of themself is the space where the the work comes to life.
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

Red Brick Vintage, Cains Brewery Village, Liverpool. 29th October 2016. Telling fortunes at Tinderbox Fair
Central Library, Liverpool. 24th June 2017. Presented as part of Liverpool MakeFest
Central Library, Liverpool. June 2018. Presented as part of Liverpool Makefest.
Yellow Arch Studios, Sheffield, 7th July 2018. Exhibited at Festival 23, Propagation of Wonder.
Cassandra @ Port Elliot Festival, July 2016
Cassandra @ Port Elliot Festival, July 2016

Responses to Cassandra from users @ Liverpool MakeFest

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.