How do you reach hundreds of millions of potential voters three weeks before an election? Public art may be one way. As part of “Art for Action,” works by artists including Jeffrey Gibson, Jenny Holzer, Tomashi Jackson, and Carrie Mae Weems are on display on 350 digital screens in 16 cities across the US through Election Day, with seven additional artists showing on screens in Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio.
Approximately 3.34 million people will see them every day, totaling more than 106.7 million people throughout its month-long run, making it the largest, non-partisan voter awareness public art campaign. It’s a massive effort to counter voter suppression in the lead-up to one of the most anticipated and decisive elections in the country’s modern history.
Organized by Orange Barrel Media (OBM), the project appropriates large-format digital screens and interactive digital “IKE Smart City” kiosks (those standalone touchscreen displays you can find on sidewalks, bus stops, and elsewhere), which are often reserved for commercial purposes. Now, these coveted public spaces will show artist-designed voters calls to action approximately once in each minute-long content rotation.
Though the works retain the distinctive visual elements of each artist’s practice — Jenny Holzer’s recognizable block letters; Tomashi Jackson’s multilayered surfaces — the compositions are more practical than aesthetic. The messaging is meant to be straightforward and direct, not obfuscated or abstracted, so hurried passersby and distracted pedestrians can easily grasp it. Some of the participating artists are known for their activism and have a long history of inserting political and social messages both explicitly and subversively into urban spaces. Holzer, for instance, has used projections, LED lights, and even aerial banners to raise awareness of gun violence, AIDS, and other urgent issues.
The interactive kiosks also feature a real-time clock counting down to the election and offer several voting resources. People can use the touch-screen feature to view important upcoming deadlines and even register to vote through a QR code. The aim is for the artworks is to engage those who still have not registered or are undecided about voting this year, and make it easier for them to do so.
“Art for Action” will run from October 3 through November 3, 2020, in the following US cities: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Cleveland, Columbus, Coral Gables, Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Norfolk, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, St. Louis, Tempe, and Washington, DC.
The national project is curated by Diana Nawi for OBM, while the local Ohio project is curated by Dionne Custer Edwards, Director of Learning and Public Practice at the Wexner Center for the Arts.
This week, missed signs of previous life on Mars, the appeal of forged art, and why are blue whales singing in lower octaves?
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed forcefully posits multiple parallels between the world Nan Goldin grew up in and the one she fights in today.
The latest episode of this documentary series on PBS explores the meaning of home through handmade objects, hand built homes, and the artists who create them.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very Los Angeles art events this month, including Bob Thompson, Aimee Goguen, Uta Barth, the Transcendental Painting Group, and more.
There is the singular artist and then there is the more exclusive club that has only one member. Harvey belongs to the latter.
Rhode Island School of Design opens registration for its residential summer Pre-College program and year-round online intensive Advanced Program Online.
The artists say the Museum of Contemporary Art Kiasma must sever ties with Poju Zabludowicz, whose wealth comes in part from Israeli defense contracting.
Vanessa Albury, whose eco-friendly ceramic sculptures help revive filter-feeder populations, is raising funds to complete her first film about the project.
Hrag Vartanian, Hyperallergic’s editor-in-chief, is one of the guest jurors reviewing applications for the two-month residency in Utica, New York.
An archeological exploration of the amphitheater’s sewers and water systems uncovered remnants of meat, vegetables, olives, nuts, and yes, pizza.
At this year’s show, I reflected on the lack of bilingual materials, the absurdity of art-fair gimmick, and the workers who make it all possible.
Hear a band of improvisers led by Rajna Swaminathan and a performance of Morton Feldman’s “For John Cage” in programs inspired by the exhibition, “New York: 1962-1964.”
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very New York art events this month, including art made during the first stock market crash, a homage to feline friends, and the 10-year anniversary of a crucial public art initiative.
Astrid Dick was told that she could not paint stripes because Sean Scully and Frank Stella have done so before her, a patently foolish statement.