Studio Tomás

Arachnomancy app for the Venice Biennale

User research
App Design

Saraceno cover

Studio Tomás Saraceno
App design Germany


Creative Direction & UI  Markus Kleine-Vehn
Head of UX Design  Naiara Odriozola
UI Design  Naiara Odriozola 
Content  Studio Tomás Saraceno
  think moto

Studio Tomás Saraceno comissioned think moto the design of the Arachnomancy App, an art project presented at the Venice Biennale 2019. As a part of the Spider/Web Pavilion, a series of interactions were taking place during the exhibition, in different forms of divination and future-telling with the Arachnomancy Cards.

The Arachnophilia App extends the physical tarot cards into a digital experience where the users need to take pictures of real spiders and receive the spiders digital fortune reading. The app has the largest physical and digital archive of spider/webs, and yours will be classified and become part of it, contributing to a collective endeavour of mapping against extinction.

The user experience
Receive an oracle reading based on the digital version of the Arachnomancy Cards

Saraceno’s work with local communities, scientific researchers, and institutions around the world, aims to seek out a more equal balance of human, techno- and bio-diversity. 

To create the Arachnophilia App, we distilled the essence of the artists' storytelling and transformed it into a digital experience navigating the readings on the tarot cards. The result is a content strategy which included messages and actions to guide the users in their journey, as well as a circular narrative which allowed them to access the different sections through a menu.

Saraceno UX layers
Saraceno Venice Biennale

The user experience
So, how does it work?

Find a spider/web, take a picture and enter How to Hear the Universe in a Spider/Web:

- Choose a card from the Arachnomancy deck and jam out with the vibratory multiplicity  that composes the Universe.
- Use headphones and enable your device’s vibration mode to hear binaural spider/web  vibrations.
- Stay in tune for future announcements on the Events page.
- Use the Map to help find your spider/web companion.

Saraceno iphone screens

The user interface
Innovative, supportive & experienced

The app needed to be the foundation of the exhibition. We incorporated the essence of Tomás’ artwork to reflect the Card’s exoteric values through typography, iconography and colour. Communicating a dynamic, flexible and immersive journey, users are invited to receive an oracle reading based on the digital version of the Arachnomancy Cards.

Together with the UI design, the motion and sound design are branded. These help create the full Arachnomancy experience.

Saraceno mobile in hand
Saraceno cards in hand
Saraceno Venice Biennale

Beyond the app
Tomas Saraceno's artwork

Understanding spider/webs as nonhuman pavilions that transcend national representation, the App extends the Arachnocene from the Venice Biennale to your own garden.

Summon the oracle by sharing photos of spider/webs you encounter, and unlock an Archnomancy Reading communicated beyond human language. Based on spider vibrational communication, your reading is composed of seismic signals produced and received on actual spider/webs from the Arachnophilia Archives. Revisit your reading and share images with friends by accessing your Oracle Archive.

Saraceno mobile animation

@ Naiara Odriozola. All rights reserved