Art & Photography

Mapping America

KK Outlet take a look at a version of America that bellies its campaign-trail image on the eve of the Presidential elections

Today, when the world’s most influential nation goes to the polls, the result will have consequences for just about every other nation on earth, one way or another. America is a fairly young country but still very complex. Or perhaps that’s the very reason for the intricate ways of its society; race, education, religion, economy, politics and employment… All of these historic factors play an all-important role in modern-day America. And never do these issues come out to play as frequent as during national election campaigns.

In recent months, Democrat President Barack Obama and Republican hopeful Mitt Romney have been debating these questions all over the US. But to get another view of the situation — a different point of view on how the country is laid out demographically — Hoxton-based gallery KK Outlet is today launching its Mapping America exhibition.

“It seems segregation is still rife in America, no matter the colour of your skin”

Looking closer at statistics — not all of them pleasant or reassuring —  the expo paints another image of the United States, one that’s not always presented on the Ten o’clock News bulletins. We get to study infographics about the electorate, commissioned from renowned institutions like MIT, Harvard, and the New York Times. These particular maps, shown exclusively on Port, were created by Oakland-based digital cartographer Eric Fisher, and shows the ethnic population in some of the biggest cities in America, such as New York, Dallas, Los Angeles, Chicago and Denver. Each dot on the map represents 25 residents; red indicates Caucasian people, blue is African-American, whilst green represents Asian, orange Hispanic and yellow “Other”. The colour coordination has an almost comical yet sad effect on the cities, creating dense colourful areas within city borders. It seems segregation is still rife in America, no matter the colour of your skin.


Mapping America runs 6-24 November at KK Outlet, 42 Hoxton Square, London N1 6PB