Inspired by Shirley Jackson’s proverbial short story “The Lottery” (1948) which is set in a village that annually sacrifices one of its inhabitants for the sake of maintaining their insular community as part of an ongoing ritual of violence, inhumanity and exclusion by stoning to death one unlucky ‘winner’ in their twisted ‘game,’ this project aims to reappropriate and recontextualize specific themes and concerns from this literary gem—once banned—in an evolving medley of criticality, creativity and conception. Censorship persists, and fanaticism has been known to stifle artistry and progress; the art world plays its own warped ‘game.’
Given the recurring interpretation of the art world as both unfairly manipulated and mechanized by known and unknown socio-political forces, such as: economics, nationality, citizenship, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, recognition, authorship, association, privilege, sheer luck (to be at the right place at the right time)—or other persuasions which could be deemed as biased or ‘rigged’—this platform serves as a receptive nexus where artists, curators, critics and writers ad infinitum may contribute to a think tank and free-floating chorus for expression, experimentation and reflection. In a world where paradigms form, ideas dissolve and power continually shifts, this production module intends to encourage inclusion, confront the logic of borders and disrupt authority.
The Lottery Project explores the already-existing hierarchies of cultural production utilizing an unfixed archive-as-organism which will alter over time; it aspires to address: the biotic vs. systematic, spontaneous vs. conditioned, authentic vs. contrived. This initiative aims to examine influence and constraint, while providing a haven from otherwise exhausted artistic and curatorial practices and ‘rituals.’ An online curation and ‘metagame’ with an interdisciplinary spin, The Lottery Project supports new forms of hybridity by encouraging contributors to freely collaborate, recalibrate coordinates and tweak working methods. Contributors may unveil notions or adopt positions that they have, perhaps, previously felt hesitant pursuing.
All works collected are directly, peripherally or incidentally linked to Jackson’s fictional scenario: its narrative arc, metaphors, philosophical conundrums, severe judgments, cultural circumstances, situational parallels, theoretical angles and / or personal aesthetics—amongst more nebulous tangents. The Lottery Project incorporates ranging formats, approaches and styles; it will expand to include more obscure modes of articulation and transmission. This archive aims to nurture multiplicity and preserve creative freedom, arising criticality and open-ended discussion; it is a labor of love and rhizomatic reaction to a strained era in flux.