Gently Bang Your Head Against The Wall Here: An Installation About The 2016 Electoral College consists of 538 soft sculpture lips made of machine-stitched and hand-stitched stuffed fabric lips laid out in a 25-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. Lips were used because they signify our ability to speak to be free and to stand up and publicize our views emotions thoughts and desires.
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.
To begin 306 lips were stitched shut with red x’s. 306 is the number of electoral votes initially awarded to Trump. 232 lips were left white without being stitched shut with red x’s. 232 is the number of electoral votes initially awarded to Clinton. Then to show the changes that would result under a proportional system the x’d lips that would change from Trump to Clinton were unstitched with the unstitched thread left dangling from the lip. The electoral votes that would switch from Clinton to Trump under the proportional system are shown by partially stitching the lip with red x’s and leaving the needle in the fabric to show thatÂ the lip is changing from unstitched to stitched.
Another component of the installation is a catharsis wall encouraging viewer participation. One station is a padded section of the wall with the instructions “Gently Bang Your Head Against The Wall Here.” Another station is a pillow with the instructions to “Put Your Face Into The Pillow And Scream.” Hyperventilation bags are available for use while viewing the installation. (Obviously this portion of the installation is now impossible due to the pandemic.)
Oh and by the way she would win.