In April 2015, SPOOKY BOOBS COLLECTIVE occupied the sole elevator that services the art department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. We created the installation LOUD & CLEAR over the course of three weeks by wheat pasting the elevator with large prints of sexist quotes collected from the UW art department environment.
While our overall experience within UW-Madison’s art department and campus was positive, we noticed an undercurrent of sexism eddying throughout our daily activities, critiques, professional endeavors, and general time spent there. Investigating this undercurrent led us to research the specifics of sexism perpetuated through micro aggressions. A site specific project, LOUD & CLEAR visually highlighted the insidious nature of micro aggressive statements and their role in maintaining sexist structures.
We utilized the elevator’s small, public space to present this work and support our assertion that micro aggressions interrupt productiveness and are incredibly confining. They occur during short moments, but their effect is lasting. By mirroring the language that we regularly encountered in the vicinity of the space, LOUD & CLEAR interrupted the viewers’ regular use of the elevator. Over the course of the installation, layers of statements were built up; previously pasted statements became partially obscured by newly pasted statements. Graffiti directly on the work was a common response that the audience used to dialog with the work and the artists.
After LOUD&CLEAR was installed, it was tagged with graffitti, was picked at until strips were peeled away, and eventually was completely painted over in the fall of 2015. To document the installation and continue the message of LOUD&CLEAR, we created a zine under the same title. (This zine will soon be available for purchase through our web-store.)