The election season was coming to a close and I could see emotions were high from most people that I knew. 2016’s presidential election was also a historically negative one, with very little of delving into policy and a lot of character attacks, which makes sense considering the candidates.
While I could generally see how people felt about the election, I wanted people to have a creative outlet to express their feelings. A lot of my favorite art, such as Yoko Ono’s Cut Piece, allows participants to express themselves in a cathartic sense. As a result, I employed the tables in the Curry Student Center as peoples’ canvas. These tables are whiteboard tables, and everyone in the space is given a marker and eraser already. As such, it was pretty much a perfect place to do this intervention.
All I did was write “Draw a picture that describes how you feel about this election” and walked away (after getting a couple pictures of people who wanted to draw something at the start). I wanted to let people be as creative, or simple, as possible. I didn’t place any constraints on people. They could even write words instead of drawing pictures of they wanted to.
The result was pretty good – there was a mix of emojis and more creative absurdist things. I wouldn’t be surprised if people modified their pictures on what other people drew as well. Also, I was surprised that people didn’t draw more, but the drawings being in such a public space could have dissuaded them.
Originally I was going to do a retrospective intervention after the election as well with the message “Draw you feelings about how the election went .” However, anyone who walked around Boston on November 9th could have understood the mood regardless. Still, I do wish that I did a retrospective intervention, as people may have wanted some outlet. I have attached a few pictures of other interventions that happened in Boston post-election, though, since those give a good idea of what I was trying to accomplish as well.