Gerrymandered

2019

Ohio 13, 9, 11, and 3.
Texas 28, 15, 34, 35, and 20.


Gerrymandering is the manipulation of the boundaries of an electoral constituency to favor one political party over another, and it is a highly developed process in many states. “Packing” is one strategy to condense all of the voters of one party into fewer singular districts. The set of outdoor sculptures utilizes the shapes of nine of the most gerrymandered congressional districts of our current Congress. Gerrymandering is a form of drawing, it is partisan border shaping, and its aesthetics open great potential for visual questions. While the shapes themselves adhere only to the logics of deeply partisan border creation, they are perhaps more useful for unimaginable sculptures offering exits from the tensions of some of our most complex political issues.





The two metal sculptures are formed by cutting the exterior boundaries of districts in Ohio and Texas– two states whose recent electoral outcomes were deeply affected by gerrymandering. The smaller piece is composed of the “packed” Democratic districts in Ohio– 3 (Columbus), 9 (the long Erie lakeshore), 11 (from Cleveland to Akron), and 13 (from Akron to the Pennsylvania border). The larger sculpture is composed of five districts in Texas that also effectively pack Democrats together– 20 (San Antonio), 35 (a sliver joining parts of San Antonio and Austin in one),  and 15, 28 and 34 (extending from near San Antonio to the Rio Grande and Gulf of Mexico).

The shapes are bent and stacked in precarious situations, drawing attention not only to the ridiculous and fantastic forms of these districts, but also to how the politics of redistricting the borders of voting groups is a political tactic stacked against an equitable democracy.
Mark