Project: Dicktator Don
Medium: Felt, electronics
Theme: Participatory art in gallery setting and via social media
DicktatorDon stands as an example as how interactive art can both challenge and delight. Chained to a shelf, this felt fabric effigy is at the mercy of those who want to take their anger out on the person he represents – that being President Donald Trump. Above him is a tweet from him that reads in the style of Trump with works like SAD and FAKE insulted that people might want to stab him at all. A pincushion built into the shelf ensures there is plenty of ammunition to hand as people grab for pins to jab him with. Reactions range from laughter which is by far, the most common response with people gleefully and enthusiastically jabbing him to great amusement. Some balance him in an inverted position and others jab pins in his eyes. He is certainly under attack. An added dimension to the interaction is that if you happen to jab him in the crotch area his eyes light up. The way the interaction is designed means only a metal pin will work as the pin needs to be conductive if it is to complete the circuit. Prodding him won’t work, you literally have to penetrate him with something metal. Perhaps the feedback loop gives way to a feelings of empowerment in the participant. They take and action and are given a sure sign that their action had a reaction in the focus of their attention. However, there are just as many who choose not to interact, offering up their reasons. Worried that voodoo really does work and they are uncomfortable dabbling in that areana. Others state that violence acted upon him by stabbing him with pins is no better than the bullish manner he exhibits to the world. To this end, he really is a stand-in for real thing and they see their participation as an act of violence against another, even if the other is as an odious figure to them. Many expressed that it was a ‘safe-way’ for them to take out their anger on him, whilst others still thought it was nothing short of what he deserved.
Social Media DicktatorDon is to venture out of the gallery setting and will take to social media in an attempt to get himself into the hands of those who might enjoy interacting with him. The criteria is that the recipient takes to social media in order to tell their story or even just to show their enthusiasm.
When the the film-maker Michael Moore’s commented that the President could be taken down with political satire. “Let’s form an army of comedy and we will bring him down…… “he is affected by ridicule” and that does seem to be the case , you only have to look to the Artist Illma Gore who was punched in the face and threatened with the law suit for painting Trump with a small penis.
Search under category ‘DicktatorDon’ to find all stories relating to the making of this piece of interactive art where I discuss process of making; research documents; technical problems; output along with trials and tribulations.