The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum is thrilled to present a participatory mail art project, “The ILSSA Ballot for Twenty Twenty,” created by artists Bridget Elmer and Emily Larned in concurrence with the upcoming Twenty Twenty exhibition.
“The ILSSA Ballot for Twenty Twenty” encourages participants to reclaim language, parse dichotomies, and give voice to perspectives unrepresented in the rhetoric surrounding the 2020 US presidential election. Participants in the project will receive a custom designed, letterpress printed ballot, with an invitation to mail-in their responses for display at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum.
The project will grow cumulatively throughout the duration of the Twenty Twenty exhibition concluding on Sunday, March 14, 2021. A limited edition of 100 ballots will be available for participants who can register through The Aldrich’s website. Ballots will be mailed directly from the artists soon after Election Day on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.
ILSSA stands for Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts, a union for reflective creative practice established in 2008 as a collaboration between the artists. ILSSA has a long-standing practice of publishing participatory, contemplative tools and resources, which often take the form of call-and-response.
Bridget Elmer is an artist and educator working at the intersection of book arts, independent publishing, social practice, and public art. She is the co-founder of Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts (ILSSA) and Print St. Pete Community Letterpress, and she currently serves as President of the College Book Art Association (CBAA). Bridget’s artists’ books and publications are collected internationally at institutions including the New York Public Library, Brooklyn Museum, Tate Britain, University of California, and Yale University. She received an MFA in the Book Arts and an MLIS from the University of Alabama and has taught at Penland, Ox-Bow, Florida State University, and Colorado College. Bridget currently works as Coordinator of the Letterpress and Book Arts Center at Ringling College of Art and Design, where she also teaches.
Emily Larned has been publishing as a socially engaged art practice since 1993, when as a teenager she made her first zine. She is co-founder of Impractical Labor in Service of the Speculative Arts (ILSSA, est. 2008), a union for reflective creative practice, and Alder & Frankia (est. 2016), an imprint for new collaborations and reissues of feminist material. Emily's award-winning artist books, zines, and publications are collected by over 70 institutions internationally, including the Tate, the Brooklyn Museum, the V&A, and the Smithsonian, and are exhibited around the world. She graduated from Yale School of Art with an MFA in Graphic Design and is currently Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Connecticut, Storrs.
Top image: Previous project by ILSSA