Just in time for the 2012 presidential election, Downtown for Democracy, the political action committee that mobilized the creative community in 2004, is back with a new pocket guide to American politics. TheD4D and OHWOW Pocket Guide to Politics is the product of a unique collaboration between OHWOW Gallery and Downtown for Democracy as the organization plans to re-launch for the 2012 political cycle.

The book, set to be released on May 1st or May Day, is a 75-page guide that explains and elucidates the often all too-puzzling work of our representative government through data visualization, graphics, comics, photographs, pie-charts, paintings, and prose. For anyone who has fallen behind on the media’s day-to-day political coverage, or is feeling rusty on what they learned in their 7th grade civics course, The Pocket Guide to Politics is a great resource that will jumpstart political educations and get creative professionals reengaged in time for November 2012.

The 2008 election of President Obama saw a peak in political activism among artists and creative professionals, but the last four years has seen interest decline dramatically. In the 2010 election, when Tea Party candidates rode into office on a wave of public discontent, only 20% of 18-29 year olds chose to vote across the country. Now, with nine months left until America votes to elect its president, a quarter of the Senate and all 435 members of the House of Representatives, D4D and OHWOW hope to re-energize the creative community around political action with the release of this useful resource.

The Pocket Guide to Politics is an attempt to translate the American political system into the language of the creative community, a demographic that influences what young America reads, listens to,watches and wears,” said OHWOW founders Al Moran and Aaron Bondaroff. “We hope this resource will help inspire the creative community to get active and involved in our political system as election season approaches.”

The partnership between OHWOW and Downtown for Democracy dates back to 2003, when OHWOW co-founder Aaron Bondaroff co-hosted events for the organization.

The book includes nineteen works by fourteen artists, including Joana Avillez, Tim Barber, Dan Colen, Michael Genovese, Alex Kalman, Andrew Kuo, Casey Neistat, Terry Richardson, Bert Rodriguez, Josh Safdie, Aurel Schmidt, Andrew Sloat, Adam Squires, Konstantin Trubkovich, and Aaron Young.

Casey Neistat breaks down the field of 2012 Republican nominees in his distinctive DIY style, comic book artist and illustrator Joana Avillez shows how bills really get passed, Alex Kalman divides a US map into the foreign entities that own our debt, and Dan Colen contrasts the ceremonial confetti of an inaugural parade with one of his own multi-colored chewing gum paintings.


© D4D and OHWOW Present: The Pocket Guide to Politics. OHWOW, 2012.