The Cosmic Betting Shop
Group Project Zurich 1947
(Original location of the Cosmic Betting Shop, downtown Zurich.)
The „Cosmic Betting Shop“ was a performance of the Somnatists that took place in the spring of 1947. The work consisted in renting an empty shop in a busy street in downtown Zürich which served as the location for the cosmic betting shop. People would come in and bet against themselves and received a betting slip/receipt which they would have to turn in at the shop upon fulfilling (or not) their respective bets. Some of the bets on times, places, actions and dreams generated interesting results: The bettors did and said absurd
things – things they would’ve never said or done otherwise – in order to win their bets against themselves. According to a text taken from one of Moritz v. Bamsell‘s notebooks the interesting question behind als this was: „Did the bettors forge their own lives? Did they actually live another life or temporarily appeared in another life when they did things they would have never done, save for the bet?“
Translation of the flyer with which the group advertised their performance projecxt „The Cosmic Betting Shop“: