Babel playing cards is the second deck produced by the young company from Hong Kong. First one was Asura deck which initiated the series of decks. Card Experiment adheres the declared aim to provide collectors with custom playing cards by collaborating with independent artists. Playing cards were produced by the company and printed by USPCC in 2013.
This deck was designed by German artist/illustrator Simon Prades. The artist is known for his etching technique. Simon’s works, especially those that represent nature, can be distinguished by the intricate details and vibrant watercolors. Most of his projects represent social awareness and are endearing to the audience.
The deck: 52 playing cards + 2 different Jokers + ad card + double back card. Poker size. There were printed 3,500 decks on Premium Aristocrat® stock with Magic Finish.
“Inspired by the story of the Tower of Babel, the Babel deck exploits the intricate interplay between geometrical figures to symbolize the struggle between the different social classes, a struggle that is characterized by conflicting collective goals.” ~ Card Experiment
The Jokers of this deck really reflects the struggle between the different social classes and do that nicely.
Unfortunately I don’t understand a connection between the Tower of Babel and the struggle between the different social classes. One of the main known ideas of the story about the Tower of Babel was to explain different languages of people living on the earth.
The narrative of the city of Babel is recorded in the Book of Genesis 11:1-9 (the first book of the Hebrew Bible (the Tanakh) and the Christian Old Testament).
A united humanity of the generations following the Great Flood migrated from the East and settled in the land of Shinar. All people spoke the same language. They decided to make bricks and build a city with a tower “whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.”
God came down to look at the city and tower. He remarked that as one people with one language, nothing that they sought would be out of their reach. There are different interpretations why God didn’t like that. But he did and scattered people over the face of the earth and confounded their speech. As a result big groups of people could not understand each other anymore and couldn’t unite for the grand building. People stopped building the city.
According to the Bible, the city received the name “Babel” from the Hebrew word “balal” which means “to jumble“. So the tower of the city got its name – the Tower of Babel.
The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563)
As I’ve said I don’t see a connection between the Tower of Babel and the struggle between the different social classes. Quite often people from appropriate different social classes speak the same language so it can’t be the reason for their struggle. I can assume that such connection can imply a need of some fair cooperation (based on a common language as a symbol of people’s equality) between different social classes for their global achievements – two working men are better than one working man and his owner. But this is a vague connection.
I think that Jokers are nice but don’t fit the theme of the deck very well. On the other hand there is such thing as author’s vision of his creation.
All other elements of this deck fit its main theme (the Tower of Babel) nicely. Aces followed nice modern trend for USPCC’s custom decks – they all are custom – wooden constructions are depicted within the frameworks of big pips with some their parts scattered by the wind (it happens when you leave suspended constructions without any care). Aces are clickable:
All pips are also custom. Their backgrounds imitate some clouds of dust raised by the wind. Pips are smaller than traditional Bicycle pips as well as indices which use some custom font.
Bicycle – Babel – Bicycle – Babel
The Ten of Spades: Babel – Bicycle
The Ten of Hearts: Babel – Bicycle
Court cards are Bicycle standard court cards redesigned to fit the theme. They were recoloured and some clouds of dust were added on them. Also all Kings, Queens and Jacks lost their mouths (some of them also moustaches) – a notable change. The creators wanted to show in such way that, knowing only their own languages, all these royals can’t communicate as they can’t understand each other.
The King of Spades: Babel – Bicycle
The Queen of Hearts: Babel – Bicycle
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