Art inspired by data

Designer Drexston Redway creates a piece based on Tallahassee, Florida (Photo:  CPALMS Perspectives Videos)

Designer Drexston Redway creates a piece based on Tallahassee, Florida (Photo: CPALMS Perspectives Videos)

In college student Drexston Redway’s portrait of Tallahassee, Florida, statistics are three-dimensional. His map of the city is both augmented and abstracted, he says at TEDxFSU. Redway used census data analyzed by the New York Times and programmer Dustin Cable to “break up” the map in clusters of ethnically diverse areas, he says, as well as to map poverty levels.

“The higher something comes off of the map, the lower the income of that particular area,” he says in his talk. Redway paired his creations with interviews he did with local young women of color who are considered “at-risk” to break down barriers between the oft-privileged class he interacted with at his university, and these women he talked with in his spare time. Viewers were invited to interact with the map and read excerpts from Redway’s interviews with local women.

"Four Words" -- a piece of art by Drexston Redway based on data about Tallahassee, Florida (Photo: Drexston Redway)

“Four Words” — a piece of art by Drexston Redway based on data about Tallahassee, Florida (Photo: Drexston Redway)

Part of "Four Words" included interviews with students at PACE Center for Girls in Tallahassee  (Photo: Drexston Redway)

A part of “Four Words” included interviews with students at PACE Center for Girls in Tallahassee (Photo: Drexston Redway)

When you look at the map, you have to figure out where you fit in in these representations of space, Redway says, a process designed to encourage the “practice of shifting our critical consciousness,” he says — “understanding people who aren’t within our bubble” and questioning how city and country-wide systems operate.

To learn more: watch his whole talk below:

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