Interactive internet site
By posing a very simple question, for you addresses the responsibilities that might be entailed in the act of giving. The web site asks participants to write a fortune to be received anonymously by a future participant. After submitting his/her message, the participant is invited to receive a fortune selected at random from those previously submitted. Through this formalized process of interaction, the participant takes on the abstract question of personal responsibility, as s/he metaphorically writes another's fate.
The piece operates both in an intimate way, with individuals involved as one stranger to another, and also more generally, at a statistical level. Although each viewer will see at most a few of the messages submitted, much of the impact of the proposition lies in imagining what kinds of messages others will write when given 'carte blanche', and in realizing what their reactions are to receiving these messages. An unspoken public question emerges: do these message carry a greater impact for having been written by specific though unknown individuals, or do we tend to dismiss the the prosaic wisdom of strangers or the seriousness of such a proposition?
STRUCTURE OF THE SITE
Page 1: On a page bearing an image of an unfolded fortune cookie, the participant is asked to write a fortune, to be received anonymously by a future participant. This text is added to a bank of variables consisting of all the fortunes previously received. No identifying information about the participant is recorded.
Page 2: After submitting his/her fortune, the participant is sent to a second page and invited to select a fortune by clicking on one of three images of fortune cookies. These images are generated at random from a number of available images, and the fortunes associated with them are generated from the bank of variables.
Page 3: Clicking on a cookie leads the participant to a final page with an image of a broken fortune cookie and the text of the random fortune he/she drew.
For you, 1999.
Reviews, Articles & Essays: Catherine Osborne, Canadian Forum, Mar 2000. PDF
Reviews, Articles & Essays: Anita Euteneier, Capital City , 4-10 Mar 1999.