Jenny Holzer launched a new public artwork campaign encouraging voter participation in swing states.

Justin Kamp
Oct 15, 2020 6:59PM, via Press Release

Installation view of Jenny Holzer, YOU VOTE 2020, 2020, in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. © 2020 Jenny Holzer, member of Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Photo by Christopher Dilts.

Jenny Holzer Studio has launched “YOU VOTE,” a series of public artworks on display in swing states such as Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, to encourage voting in the upcoming 2020 United States presidential and congressional elections. The campaign will employ “fleets of LED vehicles, light projections, billboards, theater marquees, murals, a variety of street level advertising, and social media animations” to disseminate voter information and promote civic engagement.

The campaign’s forty billboards feature phrases drawn from a number of sources and are rendered in Holzer’s signature manifesto-like style, encouraging audiences to “PROTECT YOURSELF” and “BE AN ALLY,” among other prompts. Vehicles equipped with LED-displays will also offer voter information for interested parties. The campaign will partner with sports franchises, universities, and cultural institutions, among other organizations, to ensure as wide a reach as possible. The campaign began on October 12th, and will continue up until the election on November 3rd.

Elizabeth Chodos, Director of The Miller Institute for Contemporary Art at Carnegie Mellon University, said of the campaign:

This project is so important to mobilize voting because Holzer distills the chaotic experience of the contemporary political climate by offering phrases that are hauntingly true and resonate. These truths are motivating because they engender a kind of confidence in a dizzying moment in time when faith in institutions of all kinds is completely destabilized. Holzer's work brings clarity through the uncertainty [...] This is not a time to be apathetic. As Jenny points out in one of the YOU VOTE animations, “This isn't right or left, this is life or death.”

According to Artsy data, demand for Holzer’s work on the platform rose sharply in the fourth quarter of 2016. Inquiries on her works have risen steadily in the years since; thus far in 2020, the number of inquiries on her works on Artsy is triple what it was for all of 2016.

Further Reading: Why Jenny Holzer’s “Inflammatory Essays” Is the Perfect Work for Our Times

Further Reading: This Artwork Changed My Life: Jenny Holzer’s “Inflammatory Essays”

Justin Kamp
Get the Artsy app
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play
Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019