The American Society for Personally Questioning Political Questions

I spent the 2012 election year looking for conservative and libertarian people to talk with me about their political beliefs – how they felt about the United States in those days and what they considered questionable about liberal or left wing people’s view of our shared country. As Americans become increasingly polarized in their political positions I found it difficult to even understand the issues that matter to people who have opposing political beliefs to my own. I wanted to talk with people on a personal level to try to better understand this gaping divide in American perceptions of our political reality. I was not out to debate or critique other people’s political views – I mostly listened, questioned and I tried to understand. I was up front about my own beliefs.

I went on the road to find people who would  talk with about about how Americans make such different sense out of our shared political reality, spending time in California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and of course Washington and Oregon, my home turf.

The conversations were documented with written descriptions and images as a blog, which was then reproduced as a limited run newspaper. The project was exhibited at the Tacoma Art Museum as a part of the NW Biennial Exhibition, the Helzer Gallery as a part of Disjecta’s Portland 2012 Biennial, The Schneider Museum of Art, and the Anchor Gallery, and was included in the Open Engagement Conference and the Discourse & Discord Symposium at the Walker Art Center. This project was funded in part though support from The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC.)

Links to the conversations are below:

The Newspaper:

The American Society for Personally Questioning Political Questions Newspaper

The Conversations:

Beaverton, OR, December 2011

SW Hills, OR, December 2011

Edina Mall, MN, December 2011

Downtown Portland, OR, January 2012

Gun Show, RidgeField, WA, January 2012

Medford, OR, February 2012

Oakland, CA, February 2012

Fresno, CA, February 2012

Los Angeles, CA, February 2012

Yuma, AZ, February 2012

El Paso, TX, February 2012

Alligator Park, TX, February 2012

San Antonio, TX, February 2012

The Alamo, TX, February 2012

Austin, TX, March 2012

Lubbock, TX March 2012

Las Vegas, NV March 2012

Crescent City, CA March 2012

Excelsior,MN April 2012

Minneapolis, MN April 2012

Mason City, IA April 2012

The Cultural Center, Chicago, IL April 2012

Uptown, Chicago, IL April 2012

Financial District, Chicago, IL April 2012

Waukesha, WI April 2012

Downtown New Haven, CT, June 2012

Artspace, New Haven, CT, June 2012

Wall Street, New Haven, CT June 2012

Chapel Street, New Haven, CT June 2012

York St, New Haven, CT June 2012

Woodbridge, CT June 2012

NE Portland, OR September 2012

Downtown Medford, OR, September 2012