August 10, 2011

Vis-a-Vis Society - "How We Came To Be Here"

Vis-a-Vis Society's Drs. Ink & Owning describe their recent presentation at the Red Wall. This final iteration of their project completes a one-year residency. All photos by Rebecca Hoogs.

"On July 14 for Blitz Capitol Hill Art Walk, the Vis-a-Vis Society continued their scientific-poetic research, adding to their installation as part of STart's Capitol Hill Wall Project in Cal Anderson Park. Colorful blankets of science were spread out on the grass in front of the Vis-a-Vis Society's large-scale graphs to invite passersby to hang out, fill in a survey, and enjoy some free peanuts.

Dr. Ink helped facilitate another constellation of glowing data on the smaller graph, answering the questions: (X-Axis) How Fast Does Time Seem To Be Moving?, and (Y-Axis) How Far Are You From Where You Want To Be? Individuals were given glowing electric tea lights to place at the point that best expressed their own answer to these questions. Each interactive graphing session on this grid resulted in a new starscape of data, helping us to observe the larger patterns of our collective, personal experience of time and distance, as well as to tell the stories (the naming of the constellations) of our current shared time-space moment.

At the same time, Dr. Owning added qualitative data to the quantitative bar graphs for "How We Came To Be Here" -- people's individual stories in answer to the question: "How did you come to be
here?" These answers were culled from Vis-a-Vis Society surveys gathered throughout the year at the wall.  These written answers were grouped by the multiple choice category that the survey-taker
originally selected (as graphed by the four different color bars on the wall) indicating how he/she came to be here: Carried, Driven, Dreaming, or Self-Conveyed.

Further data was collected via a new poem-survey, asking people torelabel the four bars of the graph with variables that were personally meaningful to them in their life right now, and corresponded roughly to the proportions of the graph. (For example, they might relabel the four variables Carried, Driven, Dreaming, or Self-Conveyed as Love, Work, Popsicles, Loss.) The surveys also asked people to speculate on the questions: What happened on this wall?  Who made these marks? What was important to these people? After some further processing, we'll have more findings to report!"

We remain statistically yours,
Drs. Ink & Owning