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EXIT, a data artwork on human migration and its causes

2008-2015 An idea by Paul Virilio Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Mark Hansen, Laura Kurgan and Ben Rubin In collaboration with Robert Gerard Pietrusko and Stewart Smith Collection Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain, Paris. Featured in the UN 75th anniversary issue of the publication Centerpoint Now, "Are we there yet?"* and exhibited in A View From The Cloud a program of art and conversation with cross disciplinary experts.

Global populations are unstable and on the move. Unprecedented numbers of migrants are leaving their home countries for economic, political, and environmental reasons. “Exit” was created to quantify and display this increasing global trend. The first part offers an aesthetic re-framing of the media’s coverage of global migrations. Forty-eight computers hanging from the gallery ceiling store and display a living archive of news footage, photographs, and documentaries about global migration and its causes. The second part immerses the viewer in a dynamic presentation of the data documenting contemporary human movement. Statistics documenting population shifts are not always neutral and the multiple efforts to collect them are decentralized and incomplete. Here, they are repurposed to build a narrative about migration around the globe. The viewer enters a circular room and is surrounded by a panoramic video projection of a globe which rolls around the room, “printing” maps as it spins. The maps are made from data collected from a variety of sources, geo- coded, processed through a programming language and translated visually. The presentation is divided into narratives concerning population shift, remittances, political refugees, natural disaster, and sea level rise.

"Statistics documenting population shifts are not always neutral."

Installation Photo: Luc Boegly

EXIT is featured in Centerpoint Now ©2020, World Council of Peoples for the United Nations, UN 75th anniversary special edition "Are we there yet?" co-produced with Streaming Museum.


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