Letterpress, multi-media

Fortune is a letterpress printed book that was developed through a series of chance operations and collaborative exercises. The book explores the notion of American exceptionalism, the American Dream, and the tension between merit and luck. The title, which reads like a dictionary definition, highlights the crux of this tension — the dual meaning of the word fortune. Fortune, meaning both chance and wealth is the perfect description of American life: privilege through the random act of having been born here. The randomly-generated text and imagery also complicated and re-contextualizes this double-reading, and speaks to the mode of collaboration and the relinquishing of authorship. These self-reflexive elements are not separate from the political thrust; collaborative art-making engages in a fraught dialogue with the American ideal of rugged individualism along with the myth of the artist genius, commonly upheld since the Modernist era.