Artist Wall • Current
Gently Bang Your Head Against The Wall Here: An Installation About The 2016 Electoral College © 2016Lara Myers, machine-stitched and hand-stitched stuffed fabric soft sculpture (fabric, thread, stuffing, pins).
Gently Bang Your Head Against The Wall Here:
An Installation About The 2016 Electoral College
March 10–April 8, 2017
Reception: March 10 • 5–8pm
The main component of this installation is 538 soft sculpture lips made of machine-stitched and hand-stitched stuffed fabric laid out in a 30-foot long grid that represents the U.S. map of the 2016 presidential electoral college results. Each lip represents one of the 538 electoral votes.
The installation shows how the distribution of electoral votes would change if electoral votes were not awarded under a winner-take-all system in each state, but instead were awarded proportionally based on each candidate's proportion of votes in each state. For example, if a state has 10 electoral votes and Hillary got 30% of the popular vote in that state and Trump got 70%, Hillary would get three electoral votes and Trump would get seven electoral votes, as opposed to the current system where Trump would be awarded all 10 electoral votes.
All of the electoral votes that would be awarded to Trump under this system are stitched shut with red x's. All of the electoral votes that would be awarded to Hillary are left white without being stitched shut with red x's. Red x'd lips = electoral votes that went against the nationwide popular vote. The plain white lips = electoral votes that reflected the nationwide popular vote, or put another way, the will of the people.
This change is shown by unstitching the x'd lips that would change from Trump to Hillary, with the unstitched thread left dangling from the lip. The electoral votes that would switch from Hillary to Trump under the proportional system would be shown by partially stitching the lip with x's and leaving the needle in the fabric to show that the lip is changing from unstitched to stitched.
Another component of the installation is a catharsis wall with different stations encouraging viewer participation. One station will be a padded section of the wall with the instructions "Gently Bang Your Head Against The Wall Here."