Swinging Voter - Geh Go LED sign - Artist Statement:
The red octagon of the Stop sign says GO and GEH. The viewer is torn between stopping and going forward. This is like a Zen koan or puzzle: an impossible dilemma to solve rationally. The tick (yes) and the X (no) are positioned next to statements which are their opposite. Tick - Don't Do it; X - Just say yes. Suddenly we are immersed in a topsy-turvy world of simultaneous opposites.
The language of traffic signs must be clear and simple to understand quickly. A combination of the shape of a sign and its colour reinforces the symbolic and/or textual message for easy reading by viewers who are often travelling at speed. Traffic signs point and direct and enforce driver behaviours to make a safe and efficient transport environment. The role of poetry, however, is to open up fissures in the ordinary, allowing fresh insights to emerge. Hidden conversations have been given voice, and the idiomatic nature of two languages explored in tandem, making the familiar fresh.
Just Say Yes is one part of the art installation Swinging Voter (Wechselwaehler) made in Kassel, Germany, in 2015 for Werk Kunst Werk (Work Art Work). Curated by Jurgen Olbrich. Photographs and artworks © Richard Tipping
LED sign supplied by the Horizont company, Korbach. Thanks to Dirk Trompeter, manager.
Wechselwaehler im / Swinging Voter in Conversation
Swinging voters can define the results of a political election in unpredictable ways. Swinging voters are not necessarily committed to particular party or to a political policy, and can decide at the last moment, keeping their options open. In Australia, where we have compulsory voting, swinging voters are often considered negatively as people who haven't thought issues through and can be subject to last-minute influence by media. In Germany, with voluntary voting, I am told that swinging voters are often seen positively as people waiting for the final policy offers of political parties until deciding.
Many people are also swinging voters when it comes to art. They live in between opinions, delaying commitment, not making decisions, waiting to – if ever - say yes or no to this or that. Such indecision can be either a mark of sophistication and art world engagement (staying open to new ideas, refraining from immediate judgement) or of a more problematic inability or unwillingness to make considered and consistent personal or public judgements.
Title: Swinging Voter: Just Say Yes, Wechselwaehler: Sag Einfach Ja
Date Made: 2015
Dimensions: LED board 120 x 90 cm
Medium: LED light board
Photographs: Richard Tipping
Collection: temporary work
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