A Counting

I worked on this project in 2019 as part of the Poetic Justice Group at MIT Media Lab with Ekene Ijeoma. Currently, on view in ‘Who We Are: Visualizing NYC by the Numbers’ at the Museum of the City of New York until July 19 ‘20.

There are over 600 languages spoken in NYC, a city built by its history of immigration. “A Counting” is a software-generated voice and text-based video portrait of New Yorkers counting from 1 to 100. The video sounds a different recorded voice and language for each number and displays the word. The software counts forever and generates every count in real-time, so no count is the same and everyone who participates is heard — the hundred count is created from a patchwork of multi-lingual voices. The recordings are collected from current New Yorkers via a 24/7 hotline. A digital version of this project is visible at a-counting.us/nyc.