Stacked Up Board

Aoife Keefe

Stacked Up

Lucas Held and Aoife Keefe
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Aoife Brief: 

Stacked Up: a counter-monument seeking to critique the criminal justice system that proves itself a failure to communities of color and their futures in America.The installation visualizes the entry point into the criminal justice system and highlights how this system disproportionately targets and impacts people of color. 

Since the abolishment of slavery, white and powerful Americans have been finding ways to once again enslave and take advantage of people of color. Whether it be the 13th Amendment prison-slavery loophole, the "War on Drugs" that imprisoned black men at a 100:1 ratio to white men, or  killing unarmed hooded black children in the name of the law, the criminal justice system continues to marginalize and fail people of color. 

Stacked Up tells the story of people who have been targeted by systematic and institutionalized racism by showing a mix of statistics, biographies, and symbols. Users can reach their hands into the dark bed of the all white vehicle through the back window, take a scroll and read a biography about the young  men and women of color who have been wronged by or stuck in the  criminal justice system. The goal is to educate the general public about people who are dehumanized and silenced, and to give voice to their lived experiences. It  highlights how systematic racism is a pervasive issue that needs to be addressed and ended.

Lucas Brief:
Stacked Up: A counter-monument seeking to critique the criminal justice system that has disproportionately impact people of color in America. The installation, a recreation of a police car, invites viewers to consider the difficulty of entering the justice system for the first time. This installation informs viewers of the harmful justice system that targets people of color and will make them question how institutional racism within the system is stacked against them.  

 In the United States, the criminal justice system is deeply flawed. The moment a person is first arrested, they are officially system-involved. Being system-involved can impact an individual for the rest of their life, especially if they are a person of color. Stacked Up explores this trajectory through the lens of a police car, which symbolizes the moment of entry into the justice system and the way that institutional racism is enforced through the law. The police car allows viewers to learn about people who have been trapped in the criminal justice system for years. Viewers interact with different biographies by reaching through an open window of the car and unveiling a true story they read.