HALF TON BOX
THE STATE OF WISCONSIN AND THE SUBURBAN, MILWAUKEE, WI
CURATED BY ABIGAIL WINOGRAD
Created in response to Wisconsin outlawing the use of most ballot boxes, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle’s Half Ton Box consists of numerous public interventions and exhibitions. The public component involves two ½ ton steel replicas of now-outlawed Wisconsin ballot boxes temporarily installed in a range of sites in both urban and rural communities. The public boxes are made of ¾ in. raw steel plates, have no markings, come with no instructions, and are rendered unmovable due to their mass and weight, and although the boxes have slots through which to deposit material, they are absent of markings, attributions or instructions. The more private and interior component consists of a hand-crafted Shaker-style wooden ballot box harkening to early American utilitarian methods of furniture making.
Half Ton Box begins with the installation of one ½ ton ballot box anchored to the pedestrian path at the entrance of The Suburban in Milwaukee, while its doppelgänger roams throughout the state of Wisconsin. This movement will be documented in a photo project to be converted into a photo book. Ballot Box I will occupy urban and rural, public and private settings throughout the state. Public sites may include the entrance to the Poor Farm in Waupaca County, and the crossing of highway 12 and county road H in the town of La Grange in Walworth County. Inside The Suburban’s small gallery, a traditional wooden version of the boxes will be exhibited alongside prints of unlikely yet prescient ballots. Visitors to the gallery may interact with both ballots and boxes, casting or not casting “votes” in response to prompts posed by the selected ballot(s), i.e. Truth/Fiction, Willing/Unwilling, Culture/Nature, etc. Ultimately, we hope to activate this project through a grassroots network of participants leading up to the Presidential elections in 2024.
Images by Travis Morehead and Vector.