Existential Issues: A Mapping Exercise

Nicolas Grenier
Explore Here

In two recent exhibitions, Nicolas invited visitors to take a few minutes to participate in a survey of sorts, by filling out a questionnaire comprising a variety of existential issues. Participants were asked to take position in relation to these issues, by tracing a dot on a series of diagrams with X/Y axes.

In total, 1222 persons completed the questionnaire — much more than anticipated. The primary objective of the project was not to collect data with the aim of publishing it, but rather to create an experience in which museum and gallery visitors would interrupt the contemplative mood of their visit to sit down and answer big picture questions about how they see the future of humanity. In other words, the questionnaire was primarily a mean to get people to think about perspective. Nevertheless, after receiving so many filled questionnaires, analyzing the results seemed necessary. It took a year to get funding, compile the data, and create a visualization tool. This is what Nicolas is presenting here. The results and comments from participants are now published on pluralism.xyz, with multiple visualization options. You are invited to visit the website and explore the results.

Now, many legitimate critiques can be addressed regarding the design of the survey — in particular how the questions are structured in a binary logic. Nicolas is currently in the process of developing a much funkier survey tool, where respondents could give multidimensional answers and express their emotions. The goal is to develop experimental alternatives to conventional measurement systems, and see what can be done with such methods.

This project was created by Nicolas Grenier in response to NOW WHAT open call written by Anise S. Hines Theus, Daleen Saah, Jasmine Lin, and Joal Stein.

Nicolas Grenier is a visual artist. He is interested in the visual representation of the the structures that shape our lives — from single family houses to cities, nation states and social media — and in the evolution of the values and beliefs on which these systems are built. His work takes the form of architectural installations, paintings, audio loops, lecture-performances, surveys and experimental economic systems.