1. With your cursor, pick up an object, and drop it into the fountain.
2. When prompted, submit a wish: a playful, practical, serious, radical, silly or imaginative desire beyond your current experience. Don't overthink it, or do. It's your wish.
3. Submit your wish. As an act of reciprocal exchange, someone else's wish will be shared with you in return.
4. That's all. You can do it again if you want.
Over the past few years I have been thinking deeply about wish fulfillment, illness, and fantasy. My obsession with these intertwined themes stems from my own experience receiving a wish trip to Disney World when I was ten, granted after I finished two years of treatment for Lymphoblastic Lymphoma.
Wishes made with wish-granting agencies are "official" wishes, made within a philanthropic industry that guarantees fulfillment. I'm fascinated by the cultural complexity of the “wish,” a stated desire then realized by staff at these agencies. In this context, wish-fulfillment is aligned with corporate structures and transformed into something tangible and executable. In the formulation of wish-granting agencies, it is as if the illness has taken the place of the ritualistic wish object—the wishbone, the wishing well, the wish chip, the shooting star. The child wishes on their illness. Wish-granting agencies may appear to be fairy godmother-like, stating that a child may wish for anything. But, in reality, the wish has to be deemed achievable.
Wish fountain represents another kind of wishing, a more familiar one, one that doesn't guarantee fulfillment, a stab in the dark, a toss into the abyss. The wish doesn't have to be achievable, doesn't have to make sense. You wish and in this context, the act of wishing returns to you a stranger's wish. This is my favourite part: the exchange. One wish doesn't necessarily yield satisfaction, but instead, yields another, revealing a unfurling network of wish-making. I'd like to think that the randomness of it all might do away with any lingering superstitions you may have that sharing your wish makes it unlikely to come true. You aren't speaking it aloud. You are tossing the wish into the fountain, it just turns out there is someone on the other side.
Visuals and text by Hannah Doucet
Code by Johnnie Regalado
Please do not use any racist, sexist, homophobic, ableist or otherwise hateful language