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: