CAD investment 1990-2019​

It is obvious that we are in a huge transitional period where everything is changing at an alarming rate. I think it is important that artists participate in the movement. Since 2017, I have been learning about the global situation through a variety of books on sociology and on the history of the economy to understand the dominant capitalist system. The following question arises; how can debt be represented through art? My research has allowed me to see that the web, whether monetary, visual, or even, with regard to personal information, is located at the heart of our society. So I set out to train myself on digital data through a certificate in data science with R online, given by Harvard. Through this journey, I became familiar with the world of statistics and machine learning where data visualization is essential to understand them. Subsequently, I finished an online UCLA course on p5.Js, a JavaScript library, to use data as a creative medium.

 

This is why the CAD investment 1990-2019 project takes advantage of my knowledge of R and JavaScript programming languages ​​to visualize data related to the Canadian economy from 1990 to 2019. The work is a graphic representing, roughly speaking, three axes for three variables; X for the original data, Y the differential of the original data, and Z the time. With these coordinates, I can place triangles in three-dimensional space. Each corner of a triangle is created from these coordinates. To determine their positions in space, we need three sources of data; one for each corner. And that’s where Canada’s data comes in, all the metrics come straight from Statistics Canada and so I was able to download the debt, Canada's investments abroad, and also foreign investments in Canada. So the deficit, money-out, and money-in, illustrates our three corners. In fact, each triangle exposes the interaction of this information in a given year. The lines, in the background, serve as a reference for all the colored points at each corner of the triangles; they depict, depict the elements, without intervention through time. Debt is in red, direct investment abroad is in orange, and investment from abroad is in blue. We immediately notice that the debt seems insurmountable and that the money seems to be leaving the country. It's also pictured by the agglomeration of triangles to the left of the room where the difference between each year is not so obvious.


 

The result is a three-dimensional impression of the data. I adapted the program to be able to move the shape in space and take digital photos as soon as the angle of view and composition become attractive. I think I will do the next iteration of this work, once the year 2020, the most chaotic year, is over: I will include artificial intelligence to predict the economic future of Canada.

 

With this work, I do not offer any political opinion, nor do I suggest an alternative. I am simply showing you another way of discovering information, all available, and I invite you to look at it, to understand it and to discuss it.

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