“UTS Library is a beautiful, functional, highly rational space. I felt like it needed a little bit of friendly haunting, so I called BOOK WITCH into existence.” – Katy B Plummer, 2022 Creative in Residence.
BOOK WITCH is our friendly Library ghost that wants to be helpful. She invites us to consider that the world is wild and unknowable and that it is constantly speaking to us, offering to bring us into conversations that are intimate, playful and thick with meaning.
BOOK WITCH uses bibliomancy as her starting point. Bibliomancy is an oracular divining tradition, whereby a seeker opens a sacred text at random, and looks for answers to life’s questions. The cards in this oracle were generated from text found in books borrowed from UTS Library. During the residency, Katy selected books that were most requested by students or that had recently been returned, to create a snapshot of books that the UTS community happened to be using during that time. Katy flicked through these books in a haphazard, intuitive way, looking for phrases that felt like secret messages. She plucked phrases out of chapters, severing them from their contexts, suspending them in paintings, framing them with shapes and images designed to either deepen whatever abstract meanings they might hold. This process resulted in 48 oracle cards and an interactive digital oracle.
BOOK WITCH is an experimental oracle in digital form, designed to connect us to a dense non-rational web of meaning. You can visit BOOK WITCH in person at the UTS Library (level 7) to access the oracle.
Katy B Plummer creates work about the phenomenology of resistance and the politics of ghosts. She is excited about the oracular possibilities of chance-based digital technologies and uses cinematic storytelling, anachronistic domestic textile practices and the camp aesthetics of high school theatre to tell complicated stories about being a person in the world. Her work announces that history is a haunted house full of unfinished cycles and unprocessed psychic material. She believes that poetry, horror and witchcraft can be useful strategies to interrupt oppressive systems.