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C'ood: a democracy experiment


Deconstructed cotton T-shirts, rebar and wood

24' w x 10' h, with a 12' w central opening



C'ood: a democracy experiment is an outdoor participatory project about searching for the common good. Unlike many other countries, our diverse nation doesn't share a common background with a long history of what culture should be. But we do share the ideal of working for the common good. This experiment tests whether we can see the beauty in that ideal, the beauty of what that might look like and feel like to reach the common good.


Viewers enter a circular tunnel from five different points. The tunnel is woven from T-shirts collected from all around Michigan. The weaving, like camoflague, creates a space is both porous and contained. Viewers can roam around the inside enclosed space or enter the central open space. By navigating into and out of this unknown space, by moving among other viewers, they become part of an experiment in how to find the common good. C'ood is a transformational space in which people can see themselves within our communal culture.


The texts from the shirts are recorded on the floor and become part of the piece. The five entrances to the tunnel are each woven with shirts of one color. As the weaving merges over the arches into the center, the colors intermix. The central opening is surrounded by multicolor weaving.


This is a participatory project which invited engagement at all levels.  Many volunteers helped with large jobs or small: builders, T-shirt cutters, weavers, installation team. Viewers who walked through the finished piece participated in the democracy experiment.  C'ood  was first exhibited in 2010 at ArtPrize in Grand Rapids, MI on Calder Plaza.

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