Archive of Campaign 2008’s Hopes

Posted by Katherine | January 29, 2009 – 12:10 pm

Hope street art
[WildebeestEyes / Flickr]

After almost twelve months, it is time to put this blog to bed.

The picture above seemed a good finale for BallotVox. Jonathan Wood — a “Chicago-based human and sometimes photographer” — took it in his hometown last month. It features pluma*’s street art inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem that begins, “Hope is the thing with feathers.” Pluma* appears to have intended it as a nod to Obama, but interpret it as you wish. Whatever your politics or opinion about the new president, hope for the country’s future is a handy thing to have.

This site also stands as a record of the hopes that regular people expressed throughout Campaign ‘08. What they thought and fought about during the campaign and the transition and the inauguration. If you missed any of it as it unfolded, explore BVox using the archives or the tags in the sidebar. Or lose yourself in our full collection of 3000+ posts, photographs, and videos (also searchable by tags).

If this is your first visit to BallotVox, everything is explained here.

You could also start with a few ballotvoxregulars — those standouts who created consistently great stuff. LA-based filmmaker/screenwriter David McMillan, for example, whose stable of characters commented fearlessly and humorously on the candidates. Or New York hip-hop vlogger Jay Smooth who says smart things in smart ways. Or Phil-born-in-Philly who documents the corners of DC through his camera lens.

Working on this project blew me away, daily. I will miss discovering the viewpoints that people of every stripe shared vigorously online. There is a fierce intelligence and talent out there on the web, if you dig around a bit. Thank you, Public Radio Exchange, for dreaming up and running this “curating” experiment. Thank you, CPB, for funding it. And thanks, awesome co-curators, for casting the net far and wide.

Circling back to the photo at the top of the post: Obama art was one of the most exceptional aspects of Campaign ‘08. Not because it was about Obama, but because of its contagious creative force. There just wasn’t anything even approximating it for the other candidates. It never would have been recorded so thoroughly (nor spread as effectively) without social media. Even Time Magazine, in its Obama issue last month, collected stuff from Flickr. Not one but two (at least) blogs devote themselves to compiling the Obama art documented online. So, to close, here are a couple of last examples.

Darcy Vasudev runs the Henna Lounge in the Bay Area, where you can get yourself adorned or purchase supplies. This is the design she created on election day (on her own hands):

Obama henna design
[darcitananda / Flickr]

Chicagoan Kelly, “graphic designer by day, scrapbooker by night,” recorded this mural in Philadelphia. It’s by Shepard Fairey, the street artist who was the mad scientist behind the strongest Obama-art virus of all: the “Hope” poster.

Shepard Fairey mural
[kellyp23 / Flickr]

If you’re curious to see more, check out our other posts featuring Shepard Fairey and campaign art in general.

Here’s to the next four years. And to the new ways citizens will be able to comment on the election in 2012!

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