Birth day is a project that charts the 183,600 lives that come into being on the planet over a period of 12 hours. The participants draw circles to remember loved ones and also register their names in writing. In this way the public are asked to connect their own personal narrative to the much broader theme of population growth and decline.
“By the time you’ve read this sentence three people have been born into the world.
By the time you’ve read this sentence two will have passed away. By the time you’ve lived through this eight-hour day there will be 122,000 more children on the planet. And in the same eight hours 51,000 people will have passed away.
From observing this process I have noticed that the moment a person draws a circle (and it has a name) the artwork stops being about statistics and becomes a wall of brothers, sisters, mothers etc — in this particular case representing 260,000 lives that are born and die in 12 hours.
We use data to quantify the world, yet even on such pertinent themes of birth and death, once we pass a certain scale the information slips into either obscurity or trivia.”
‘Birth day’ is a work that address’s this subject by using strategies such as mark making and story telling to give us a context in which to understand some of these larger movements.