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Gerrymandering, the practice of drawing the boundaries of electoral districts to unfairly benefit one political party, is one of the most blatant maladies of American politics. To protest this phenomenon, Chicago-based digital creatives Ben Doessel and James Lee released a new font, named “Gerry,” that renders maps of gerrymandered districts into letters of the alphabet.
“To ensure the eroding of democracy isn’t an issue that is lost in the news cycle, our design team from Chicago concocted a creative way to keep our warped voting districts top-of-mind,” the font’s creators said in a statement. “What looks like a ‘G’ is really the 4th Congressional district of Ohio, the ‘E’ is actually Missouri’s 6th district, and so on.”
Doessel and Lee both work at the Chicago offices of the international advertising firm Leo Burnett. The project is independent of the company, but it has received its blessing. Freelancer Kevin McGlone helped them create the website Ugly Gerry where the font is available for free download.
The idea came to Doessel and Lee after they noticed that their gerrymandered Illinois 4th District is shaped like the letter U. “Then after seeing other letters on the map, the idea hit us, let’s create a typeface so our districts can become digital graffiti that voters and politicians can’t ignore,” they said.
— Michael A. Brodeur (@MBrodeur) August 2, 2019
In 2018, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court redrew the state’s districts, overturning a Republican gerrymander that skewed voting to the advantage of the party. States like California and Arizona have already terminated gerrymandering by excluding politicians from the redistricting process. In North Carolina, however, a legal battle over gerrymandered districts is still in full force. In 2018, a federal court ruled against the state’s electoral maps after finding that have been drawn in favor of the Republican party. Following an appeal filed in March 2019, the Supreme Court overturned the decision, ruling that partisan gerrymandering is beyond its authority to adjudicate on the matter. The authority to decide on gerrymandering should be in the hands of states or congress, the ruling said. The court’s 5-4 decision was dominated by conservative judges. Voting rights activists have filed another lawsuit in July to challenge North Carolina’s gerrymandering.
The University of Virginia researchers wrote that the data “provides compelling evidence that these symbols are associated with hate.”
We are waiting for spectacle and when the quotidian, yet incongruous actions occur I wonder whether there is any real payoff coming.
Hear from Holly Jean Buck, Carolina Caycedo and David de Rozas, Simon Denny, Elizabeth Hoover, Renee Kemp-Rotan, Joseph Kunkel, and more at this free public event.
Tanega’s approach to mark-making comes across as stream of consciousness, as if she’s engaged in a conversation with herself.
Starting Monday, readers can borrow one of 50 rare and out-of-print titles, mailed to them completely free of charge, from Saint Heron Library.
EFA Open Studios offers a portal into the creative habitats of over 65 artists working in Manhattan’s longest-running studio program, including Dannielle Tegeder, Wafaa Bilal, Cui Fei, and Anina Major.
This is Yuskavage’s great gift, turning upside down our settled ways of thinking and seeing and, with ease, transforming the vulgar and ridiculous into the sublime.
51 international publishers and galleries showcase their latest editions in prints and artists’ books at this free public fair, which is fully online this year.
While hardly about the pandemic, or any of the other crises so afflicting us, all are invoked in this exhibition, which is also often tender and profoundly soulful.
These glowing, dynamic artworks reproduce something of Bosch’s chaotic energy, but on an immersive, multi-sensory scale.
This week, addressing a transphobic comedy special on Netflix, the story behind KKK hoods, cultural identity fraud, an anti-Semitic take on modern art, and more.