Diagrams of Power is an exhibition and publication that showcases critical artworks and projects that use data, diagrams, maps, and visualizations as ways of challenging dominant narratives and supporting the resilience of marginalized communities. Artists and designers featured in this exhibition critique conventionalized and established truths that obscure important histories or perpetuate oppressive regimes. They also contribute to positive social change by engaging communities and providing alternative strategies for storytelling, communication, and organizing.
The exhibition is an ambitious survey of current and past work that incorporates mapping and visualization in service of community organizing, radical education, resistance, and advocacy. In social practice diagrams are often used as familiar and accessible ways to engage a broad public. They provide new ways of seeing information that connects local and global concerns. In this exhibition conventional ideas of maps as authoritative representations of a territory are also called into question. Historical and contemporary uses of data and visualization in colonialization, surveillance, and management are problematized by artists through critical interventions that use performance, embodiment, and counter-narratives.
The works selected by curator Patricio Dávila, are fascinating and powerful due to their hybrid nature between visual arts, design, visualization and cartography where they assemble observation, open data, first person accounts, image and archive into visual and physical form. Works by artists, designers, cartographers, historians, and collectives including Julie Mehretu, Iconoclasistas, Teddy Cruz and Fonna Forman, Bureau d’Etudes, Ogimaa Mikana, Department of Unusual Certainties, Josh Begley, Lize Mogel, Philippe Rekacewicz, Margaret Pearce, Joshua Akers, Anti-Eviction Mapping Project, and Vincent Brown.