Super Bowl Scoreboard




FACT: In the United States a Woman is Battered Every Fifteen Seconds.
FACT: More Women are Battered on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other Day of the Year.


project description
artist's statement
references
media coverage

Project Description

In the Fall of 1992 I heard the statistic that Super Sunday is the worst day of the year for women being battered. I began to think about ways to use that fact in a work of art to raise awareness of the issue of domestic violence. I finally came up with a simple piece: a manually operated scoreboard with three scores. The first two were the team scores (Dallas and Buffalo) and the third was the number of women battered since opening kickoff. The 'battered women score' would increment every fifteen seconds - the statistical rate women are battered in this country.

I received permission from Metro Commuter North to do the piece in New York's Grand Central Terminal and on January 27, 1993 I presented for the first time Super Bowl Scoreboard.

The response was overwhelming in terms of media attention, support from local organizations and the interest and support of passers by. It has been cosponsored by the Mayor's Commission on the Status of Women, NOW New York, Victim Services and New York Men Against Sexism. The piece has became a more or less annual event and was presented again in 1994 (in collaboration with artist Rebecca Graves) and 1996 (in 1995 I presented The 1995 Witness to Violence Project).


Artist's Statement

The Super Bowl is a sporting event, a mock combat, which has one of the largest audiences in the world. Women are battered at an alarming rate in the United States (one every fifteen seconds), but the real combat of domestic violence is kept almost hidden. With Super Bowl Scoreboard I juxtapose the results of the broadcast mock violence and the hidden real violence. The task of updating the number of women battered by physically hanging numbers on a scoreboard is a non-stop process for over two hours. The changing of the team scores seems a rare interlude to this constant changing of the 'battered women score'.

I don't know why battering increases on Super Sunday. It may have to do with the fact that men drink more on this day. It may have to do with an increase in testosterone watching big men slam their bodies against each other. It may be something else entirely. My concern is to create a performance which makes watchers aware of the situation and pushes them to try to understand why this is so.

It is the purpose of art, I believe, to confront, to challenge, to force the viewer to see and think about the world in a new and more profound way. It is my hope that this piece will be one of many events that will influence people to envision and work for a world where women and children are respected and cared for, and where they cease to be victims of brutality.


Photo from Superbowl Scoreboard



References

There is much controversy over whether there really is an increase in domestic violence on Super Sunday. The purpose of the piece is to raise awareness on the issue of domestic violence not to argue this point. The Super Bowl game is more or less a hook to grab people's attention. This being said, following are some references about this issue. Much of the evidence is anecdotal.

Lenore Walker's study in Denver
found an increase of 40% in calls to shelters just after Super Sunday
Chicago Tribune, January 27,1991
Mike Capuzzu reported on surveys which substantiated the connection between professional football and basketball games and domestic violence
New York Times, January 5 and January 22, 1992
Columnist Bob Lipsyte called attention to connection.
Portland Oregonian, February 2, 1993
reported a threefold increase in calls at the Portland Women's Crisis Line
Oakland Tribune, February 1, 1993
reported a increase in calls to shelters
Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, February 2, 1993
reported a increase in calls to shelters
L.A. Daily News, February 4, 1993
reported a increase in calls to shelters
San Jose Mercury News, February 4
1993, reported a increase in calls to shelters
Associated Press, February 4, 1993
reported a increase in calls to shelters
San Francisco Examiner, 1984
police records showed an increase of 40% in attempted murders during the week following the Super Bowl game.
Doing a library search or medical library search on sports/violence will produce some very interesting articles. There are many resources for statistics on violence against women. Some links to those sites follow.[I'm researching these links]

Media Coverage

Super Bowl Scoreboard January 31, 1993
Greenfield Recorder, Greenfield MA, January 26, Nicole Cusano story
Associated Press, January 26, Tom Hayes story
WTTT Radio, Amherst MA, January 26, interview with Steve Edwards
WFCR Radio, Amherst MA, January 26, local story during All Things Considered
Hamilton Ontario, January 27, radio interview
WBOS Boston, January 27, interview with Mike Milanio
Boston Herald, A.P. January 27, story and photo
Montreal Gazette, January 28, story and photo
CFJM Montreal, January 28, interview with Carol Banks
Springfield Union News, January 28, Jackie Walsh story
Hampshire Gazette, Northampton MA, January 29, Bruce Watson story
WBZ -TV(NBC), Boston, January 29, Randy Price interview and story (filmed in Ashfield)
NY-1 News, New York, January 30, Elizabeth Kaledin interview
CBS channel 2, New York, January 31, news story
WFIX Channel 11, New York, January 31, news story
NY-1 News, New York, January 31, news story
Valley Advocate, Hadley MA, February 4,, story
Super Bowl Scoreboard II January 30, 1994
1/20/94 Greenfield Recorder, Greenfield MA, January 20, Nicole Cusano story
1/27/94 Hampshire Gazette, Northampton MA, January 27, Tzivia Gover story
1/28/94 WFCR, Amherst MA, January 28, Bob Paquette interview during Morning Edition
West County News, Shelburne Falls MA, January 28, story
NY-1 News, New York, January 30, news story
CBS Channel 2, New York, January 30, news story
Channel 9, New York, January 30, news story
WABC Radio Network, January 30, national news story
Associated Press, January 30, story
Super Bowl Scoreboard III January 28, 1996
Newsday, New York, January 28, Mae Cheng story
CBS Channel 2, New York, January 28, news story
FOX Channel 5, New York, January 28, news story
WFIX Channel 11, New York, January 28, news story
NY-1 News, New York, January 28, news story
News 12 Westchester, Yonkers NY, January 28, news story

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