WAGE ISLANDS: EKENE IJEOMA
WNW Member #6318 Ekene Ijeoma is a creative technologist, currently a designer-in-residence at Orbital. Ekene has a new interactive installation called Wage Islands, which is currently being exhibited as part of the series Measure at Storefront for Art and Architecture in SoHo NYC through September 19th. The installation was recently featured on Vice's The Creators Project.
Wage Islands expands New York City’s “tale of two cities” by revealing the geographies of access throughout the city based on housing costs and wages. The project is a three-dimensional map of the city where elevations are based on median monthly housing costs from $271 to $4001.
The map is submerged in water, depicting the peaks of New York as islands of access for minimum wage. When an 'included' button is pressed, the wages slowly increase, showing the area of the islands growing towards the base. When the button is released, the wages slowly decrease, showing the area of the islands shrinking towards the peaks. There’s also an LCD display which illuminates the wages and specific areas.
Ekene hopes this project can expand the relationships between housing and accessibility and wage and affordability in New York City.
Creating projects that call for social change is not new territory for Ekene, who previously co-created The Refugee Project, which tackled refugee migration around the world. That project was published in MoMa’s Design and Violence and nominated for Design Museum’s Designs of the Year 2015.
If you're in the NYC area, we strongly recommend checking out Wage Islands, which reopened today at Storefront for Art and Architecture, and will close this Saturday, September 19th.