How might I turn data into artwork that inspires positive change?

Rise is an interactive artwork commissioned by Kansas City, Missouri to highlight the city’s new data gathering efforts and get residents interested in the data that drives civic decision making. I chose to base the work on a data set about homicides from 1926 to today because it is a statistic that can only be influenced by the choices of residents rather than one that relies on city services. By making it interactive I felt I could give weight to the numbers and make people understand that the power to create positive change is in their hands.

June 2015
Socrata Blog Post

My goal with the piece was to emphasize the high and lows while focusing on the more recent downward trend. By reversing the order of the graph (low is high, high is low) I was able to make this more aspirational than informational.

The final piece was shown during the Art of Data exhibition at ArtsKC in downtown in Kansas City during the month of June 2015. Around 3,285 guests attended the opening reception, more than twice the normal turnout, making it the biggest ArtsKC event ever.

When the Kansas City flag is lowered or raised, it's corresponding height on pole represents how many murders there were that year. The number of murders and corresponding years are also represented with tags on the halyard rope. A user can seek out a specific year by raising or lowering the flag to reach an individual tag. At it's highest position, the flag represents our aspiration to bring the murder rate to zero.