Interactive Performance, 2019
The first public shout vote held in Lichtensteig, Switzerland. Using a new auditory voting booth, voters collectively shout to indicate their voting preference. There is no limit to the volume of the shouted vote, or the number of votes that can be shouted by any individual. Trained ears count the votes heard live on their hand above the crowd. Results are announced after every vote. After the preliminary ballot, the public proposed referendums to be voted upon.
To ensure the integrity of the vote, each vote is recorded and a thorough recount promised. The recount, a durational performance, took place in the gallery for three weeks after the public shout vote. An audio recording from one shout vote was hand painted on a 6’ x 18’ canvas stretched on the gallery wall. One second of audio was represented in each foot of the canvas. Vote counters slowly worked through the audio, marking each vote on the canvas while listening to the shout vote audio on repeat.
This project was inspired by research into the voting system used in the neighboring village of Appenzal. Continuing on tradition, Appenzal town members gather in the public square and vote simply by raising their hand. Town leaders scan the crowd visually from a podium to assess roughly which option more hands preferred. Rarely, if the vote is too close, hands from the crowd will be individually counted.
Shocked by the transparency and immediacy of Appenzal’s voting method, I tried to create an alternative voting method that refracted the voting experience in the United States of America. The result, Shout Vote took place in Lichtensteig on the same day that the neighboring town of Appenzal gathered to hold their public vote.