The Voting Booth Project
It all began when New York entrepreneur Andre Balazs acquired 100 portable Votomatic voting booths that were being discarded by the state of Florida in the wake of the ‘hanging chad’ debacles that attended the 2000 presidential elections. The dean of the Parsons School of Design, Paul Goldberger, had an idea: why not give the booths to artists, architects and designers and invite them to transform the booths in any way they wanted? The results were exhibited at Parsons Gallery in time for the 2004 elections, and auctioned off to benefit Parsons and Declare Yourself, a national nonpartisan campaign dedicated to empowering young voters. Exhibition participants included David Rockwell, Milton Glaser, Christo, Diane von Furstenberg, Chip Kidd, Frank Gehry, and James Biber, among others. Michael Bierut capped our entry with a reference, just in case you missed it, to the GOP.
Our entry to the exhibition was as much a piece of performance art as an artistic statement:
In New York City you can rent virtually anything.
We chose to rent a 2-ton steam roller to crush the booth, just as the booth had participated in crushing the will of the people in 2000. On a sunny summer day we repeatedly rolled over the (quite resilient) booth rendering it moot, null and void.
To paraphrase Mr. Praline, of a famous sketch about a deceased parrot:
It’s not pinin'! It’s passed on! This booth is no more! It has ceased to be! It’s expired and gone to meet it’s maker! It’s a stiff! Bereft of life, it rests in peace! It’s off the twig! It’s kicked the bucket, it's shuffled off it’s mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleeding choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-VOTOMATIC BOOTH!!