Scratching Chance No. 5

Jonathan Calm, American, born 1971



Diptych, two digital C-prints

Overall: 25 × 19 1/2 in. (63.5 × 49.5 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Ninah and Michael Lynne

© Jonathan Calm



Place Made: United States, North America


21st century

Object Name


Research Area


Not on view


With interests in architecture and documentary journalism, Jonathan Calm examines the sociocultural, historical, and geopolitical effects of public housing on both sides of the Atlantic. He began his series Scratching Chance Grids (2004–6) after encountering a sycamore tree with a number of losing lottery scratch cards lodged in the trunk—a visual metaphor for economic systems becoming inextricably intertwined with our landscape. Part of Calm’s exploration of the ecosystems of urban housing projects, these images, taken around the boroughs of New York, “flesh out the stakes of pleasure, reward, escape, despair, resignation and addiction in a world,” he states, “where life itself often proves a gamble.”

From the 2019 exhibition New Landscapes: Contemporary Responses to Globalization, curated by Jessica Hong, Associate Curator of Global Contemporary Art

Exhibition History

New Landscapes: Contemporary Responses to Globalization, Class of 1967 Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, June 15-August 18, 2019.

Offline & Infamous, Caren Golden Fine Art, New York, May 20 - June 25, 2005


Caren Golden Fine Art, New York, New York, date unknown; private collection; given to present collection, 2018.

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