Casino Baby book
Casino Baby

By Matt Runkle and AB Gorham
Reno, Nevada: AB Gorham and Matt Runkle, 2019. Edition of 50.

6" x 6" closed; 16" x 16" open. Single-sheet folded structure. Written, designed, and letterpress printed from photopolymer plates in 2019 in Reno, Nevada, by two transplants to the city, Matt Runkle and AB Gorham. Letterpress printed using photopolymer plates in four colors on Kitakata. Housed in a folded cardstock enclosure.

AB Gorham: "’Casino Baby!’ takes place at the meeting of desert and mountains, inside a labyrinthine casino where house and player are in conversation. What patterns emerge from the carpet, the manipulated air, the onslaught of sounds made by machines?”

Matt Runkle: “We were both transplants to Reno, Nevada, when we started our process, and we separately wandered the landscape of the rapidly changing city and made sketches of its casino culture, its distinct high-desert ecosystem, and signs of the cultural and environmental shifts happening under the onslaught of tech and developer interests. All the while, we also tracked the less terrestrial forces at work around us—the daemonic, otherworldly beings weaving their way throughout the unique locale.

“We then took these sketches and used them to compose a series of patterns, inspired by casino carpets, whose motifs are designed to create a hypnotic, inward pull for casino-goers. We took these patterns and broke them down at points, subverting the force of their repetition, before printing our composition on one side of this single-sheet structure.

“On the reverse, we printed the results of an iambic-pentametric writing collaboration in which Gorham assumed the voice of a casino patron and Runkle the voice of the house. These were then interspersed with onomatopoeic slot-machine sounds before being composed in a Copperplate Gothic zigzag that bounces off the diagonal lines of the structure's folds.”