A Mapper's Delight

Opening September 7, 2017 at California College of the Arts – Maximum Distance. Minimum Displacement.: A Mapper’s Delight features art made from the Hiphop Word Count database and is accompanied by a series of community data workshops.

Maximum Distance. Minimum Displacement. investigates the role systems play in the generation of form and specifically how the data drawn from a natural language analysis of hip- hop reveal a layer of aesthetics that are music related yet non-musical.

Inspired by Pablo Picasso’s light pen drawings, Maximum Distance. Minimum Displacement. uses abstracted semantic rap data to create sculptural forms. Geographic mentions from the complete bodies of work of 12 rappers were extracted using the Hip-hop Word Count: 2Pac, Biggie, Nas, Jay-Z, Jean Grae, Drake, Missy Elliot, Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, Trina and Cam’ron.

These locations were translated into geographic coordinates, which were then made into points used to plot the movements of an industrial robot arm. For several minutes at a time, the robot arm drew the paths while holding a light pen—producing sculptural forms made with light. Each resulting shape represents the unique global distances traveled by the lyrics in each artist’s career.

Exhibition website: mappersdelight.net