Guestwork’s “Accounting for Public Interest” unfolds at the Portland Building January 11th – February 6th

PORTLAND, ORE – Accounting for Public Interest, a playful interactive poll by artists Travis Neel and Erin Charpentier (a.k.a. Guestwork), opens at the Portland Building January 11th. The project examines the relationship between Portland residents and their ideal city and engages visitors in a game of critical thinking that guides participants through a series of exercises that compare and contrast a Portland of the past, present, and future. At designated hours throughout the duration of the exhibition Guestwork will perform as pollsters and conduct their survey in person, but the installation will also include voting booths, ballots, questionnaires and signage to be interacted with when the artists are not present. In the final week of the exhibition, a series of graphics with the results of the survey will be installed.

“The questionnaire will contain a series of predetermined binary questions such as ‘Would you rather have a city of private property or a city of commonwealth?’ and ‘Would you rather have a revolutionary city or a city of consistency?’ After voting, participants will cast their questionnaire into a ballot box. The votes will be counted, compiled and displayed as infographics.” — Guestwork

Using the familiar mechanism of voting Accounting for Public Interest works to thoughtfully and whimsically examine the way Portland functions as a civic body; through the exploration of civic language, affects, and gestures, the game facilitates a critical examination of the relationship of the citizen to private ownership, public authority, and the commons.

Viewing Hours & Location: The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in down-town Portland and is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. Accounting for Public Interest runs from January 11th through February 5th, 2016.

For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space, including images, proposals, and statements for all projects dating back to 1994, go to