United States, b. 1971
Artwork website: Ouija Vote 2008
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Ouija Vote 2008
Voting booth, Ouija board, mouse, video
Remixing: Ouija 2000
Collection of the artist
Jonathon Keats redeploys the networked Ouija board in Ouija Vote 2008, a prototype electronic voting machine proposed for the 2008 presidential election and beyond. Keats reveals the ghost in the political machine and, like Goldberg’s Ouija 2000, asks us to consider the nature of our own agency in a system that operates at a distance. Ouija Vote 2008 takes the Central Limit Theorem to its logical conclusion, positing the democratic process as a mystical algorithm.
Jonathon Keats is a conceptual artist, fabulist, and critic residing in San Francisco, California. Recently he exhibited extraterrestrial abstract artwork at the Judah L. Magnes Museum. He has also attempted to genetically engineer God in a petri dish, in collaboration with scientists at the University of California; opened the world’s first porn theater for houseplants in the town of Chico; and petitioned Berkeley to pass a fundamental law of logic, a work commissioned by the city’s annual Arts Festival. His projects have been documented by PBS and the BBC World Service, garnering favorable attention in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Nature, New Scientist, Flash Art and Net Art News. Additionally, Keats serves as the art critic for San Francisco magazine and as a columnist for both Artweek and Wired. He is the author of two novels and a collection of fables, as well as museum catalogue essays, monographs, and artist’s books. Since graduating summa cum laude from Amherst College in 1994, he has been a visiting artist at California State University, Chico, and a guest lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley, as well as the recipient of Yaddo and MacDowell fellowships. In 2007, he will have solo shows at Modernism Gallery in San Francisco and R.T. Hansen Gallery in Berlin. He is represented by Modernism.