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    Voteauction: a cautionary tale

    Pilcher, Jeremy (2020) Voteauction: a cautionary tale. In: Finchett-Maddock, L. and Lekakis, E. (eds.) Art, Law, Power: Perspectives on Legality and Resistance in Contemporary Aesthetics. Counterpress. (In Press)

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    Art has been characterised as providing an effective means to critique the force of the law by, amongst other things, its employment of networked digital technologies. This reflects a general understanding of the law and art as being in an oppositional relationship. I propose that art may provide a more nuanced critique of the way in which the law underpins and frames societies through an analysis of Voteauction, which was a project that apparently provided an online site from which votes in the 2000 presidential election in the USA could be traded. It was argued by some that it was a critique of legal electioneering practices, such as the contribution of large campaign donations, which should be protected under the First Amendment to the USA Constitution. Ultimately pressure, including the commencement of legal proceedings that took Voteauction seriously as a means to trade votes, led to a denial of service for the project’s Internet domain name. The project, which called for a decision to be made as to whether it was a prank or serious, was transfigured after the site was subsequently declared as ‘corporate legal art.’ As it now exists, the work is a mark of the extent to which the possibilities for the improvement or subversion of democracy in the USA are inextricably intertwined. Voteauction is the remainder of an invitation to voters to engage with the way in which the nature and scope of democracy in the USA is structured by the law.


    Item Type: Book Section
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): art, election, law, performative, democracy
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Law School
    Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences
    Depositing User: Jeremy Pilcher
    Date Deposited: 15 Jan 2020 19:44
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:50


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