Cassandra is a fortune-telling machine, inspired by the Morgana arcade machine of the 1970s. A sensor detects a hand in the slot in the front of the machine, then a sound file plays a recording of a fortune-teller, while the video of a woman’s face talking is projected onto a white polystyrene model head. The cabinet’s plywood, and the coding is run off an old Mac mini.
Those are the bits that we can explain. What we can’t tell you is how unsettling it is. Maker Jen Allanson told us that Cassandra is never left alone for the public to come across: “The first part of the fortunes come from the Tibetan book of the dead, about 80% of which is about, well, death. There always has to be someone about, in case someone gets a fortune that upsets them”.