Another Wheel of Fortune
An interactive, multimedia art project
Still image of wheel
Detail of the pointer in Another Wheel of Fortune. Pointer is made with human finger bones, grizzly bear claw, sliced turkey vertebrae, porcupine quills, turkey breast bone and sculpey clay.
Concept map for Another Wheel of Fortune features words and images about the role of chance and fortune and their influence on our care and treatment of different nonhumans. Major cateogories explored include the goddess Fortuna and her wheel, the vicissitudes of life, chance as a type of agency, the Orphic wheel, transmigration, and death as a release from the cycle of fortune.
Directions for playing Another Wheel of Fortune
Card 1, Page 1 Perytion, Another Wheel of Fortune
Card 2, Page 2 The Bird That Makes the Rain, Another Wheel of Fortune
Card 3, Page 3 Buraq, Another Wheel of Fortune
Card 4, Page 4 Salamander, Another Wheel of Fortune
Card 5, Page 5 Chinese Fox, Another Wheel of Fortune
Another Wheel of Fortune (2014) is an interactive piece consisting of a functional wheel of fortune, a pictorial concept map, a set of cards featuring images of animals from medieval bestiaries, a booklet with descriptions of the animals featured on the cards, and a set of instructions for how to play the game. In the center of the wheel is the skeleton of a fictional animal, made from many different bones, real and synthetic. Viewers are invited to spin the wheel – and when they do – they experience a chance outcome. The pointer, made from the bones of a human finger, lands on one of 12 categories of relating such as valued, unwanted, accepted, tolerated and despised. After spinning the wheel, viewers select a card as a take-home prize, but the card must correspond to their category. The success of Another Wheel of Fortune hinges on this process. In order to select the ‘right’ card, viewers must consider how we, as humans, determine which animals are prized, forgotten, tolerated, valued or scorned. The concept map and booklet are offered as reference materials to aid in the selection of the card, but viewers soon discover that inspection of these materials yields no answers and only generates more questions. The images on the cards are appropriated from medieval bestiaries (Konrad Gessner, Edward Topsell, descriptions by Pliny, Imaginary Beings by Jorge Luis Borges) and the text is a mixture of information from these bestiaries and from my own musings. Depicted on the concept map are myriad images and ideas related to Fortune.