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Exit’s “Rising Seas, Sinking Cities” narrative explores the concurrence of rising carbon emissions and sea level forecasted into the not-so-distant future. Here geolocated blooms of light grow and swirl about indicating relative responsibility for carbon emissions aggregated by population density. http://vimeo.com/5423953

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Exit’s “Population Density” narrative wraps the room in geolocated population statistics, incrementing from 1990 to 2005. The numbers themselves form a visually recognizable geography eliminating the need to orient viewers with borders or satellite imagery. The base-10 logarithm of each number become a visual indicator of density, almost separate from the abstract idea of value that the digits represent. http://vimeo.com/3911618

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Exit’s “Remittances” narrative on display for guests in Paris. Remittances are micro-transactions, money sent back to a migrant laborer’s nation of origin. For some nations total remittances received exceed foreign aid received. Occasionally remittances even exceed the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). http://vimeo.com/3910080

Exit explores the cartographies of human migration through six panoramic data visualization narratives.


Visitors enter a dark rotunda to discover a mirror-image Earth revolving around the room, printing animated maps and data to the panoramic wall’s curved surface. Over the course of forty-five minutes (divided into six narrative chapters) Exit quantifies both voluntary and forced movement across the globe due to political, economic, and environmental factors. The piece gives visual form to cultural theorist Paul Virilio’s belief that humanity is now defined by migration.

Exit team: Diller Scofidio + Renfro, Laura Kurgan, Mark Hansen, and Ben Rubin. In collaboration with Stewart Smith (Stewdio), and Robert Gerard Pietrusko. With Aaron Meyers, Michael Doherty, and Hans-Christoph Steiner. Projection system created by Bernd Lintermann and managed with Niko Völzow, both of the Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe (ZKM).

Stewdio participated in a range of collaborative efforts from narrative generation to visual design and direction to software development. The animation engine, Bronson, was created by Stewdio and Warning Office; written in Java and OpenGL using the Processing library. Exit premiered at the Fondation Cartier in Paris as part of the Terre Natale (“Native Land”) exhibition and has since traveled to the Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen and the Alhondiga Bilbao in Bilbao.

A note on the title: During production this piece was informally referred to as “Terre Natale” (“Native Land” in French) which reflected the title of Cartier’s 2008 exhibition. For the exhibition itself the piece was billed as “Exits 2” as it was part of a tryptic including “Exits 1” and Paul Virilio’s “Exit House” video-as-curatorial-statement. It has since been rebranded as simply “Exit.”


Released November 2008.