What would true diversity look like?
Presented online and in person at spaces like the Museum of Contemporary Art Houston and the Museum of the City of New York, the work features audio recordings of 100 individuals numbering from 1 to 100 in a variety of languages, accompanied of a transcription in white letters on a black screen. Localized versions reflect the linguistic landscapes of New York, St. Louis, Houston, Omaha, and Ogden, Utah, as well as the entire United States. A sign language version is also in preparation.
Most of the voices are from people who called to register. The Poetic Justice team then built an algorithm that “selects and weights the less recorded languages so you hear them more frequently,” says Ijeoma. The video changes over time as new recordings are added.
“A Counting” is the latest in a series of artworks that leverage Ijeoma’s background in information technology to translate cold data into something loaded with feeling. “I want to create a contemporary portrait. What better way to do it [than] with contemporary tools and techniques – those of data analysis and visualization – not literally, but poetically? ” he says.