Shadow Tag is a part of ‘Ground Truth’ – Data through Design’s 2021 Exhibition.

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The title ‘Shadow Tag’ refers to a playground game – a touch-less version of traditional tag that resonates with the precautions of distance during the pandemic. 

For our project –that uses NYC Open Data to look for traces of children– this metaphor extends to include the distortions of viewpoint and the ineffability of concrete data in this search.  

We can locate the places where the shadow falls, but we are dealing with abstractions, outlines of experience.  There are different reasons for these unmeasured areas – they can show bias or noise, they can offer privacy or protection.

We are interested in the slippage of meaning in the word ‘tag’ as it relates to both a joyful game and a data label.   

Where would we find childhood joy?  How would we measure it?  Can we address issues that we can’t quantify?