The Unemployed (2019)
The Unemployed is a data visualization that illustrates worldwide unemployment. Using data culled from online sources that list unemployment rates by country, The Unemployed represents the jobless as animated figures. The number of unemployed varies from country to country ranging from a few thousand in sparsely populated places to many millions. As the software randomly cycles through the countries, the unemployed are depicted as figures moving in empty space. Passersby’s movements are captured by a webcam and their silhouettes are projected onto the wall and transformed into an array of ambling figures. On the monitors, the figures move within the confines of their countries. The clusters of figures metaphorically become an available labor force, as well as the visible presence of the jobless.
About the Artist
Jody Zellen, a Los Angeles based artist working in many media— making interactive installations, mobile apps, net art, animations, drawings, paintings, photographs, public art, and artists’ books— constantly thinks about ways to integrate interactivity and technology into her works. She received a BA from Wesleyan University (1983), a MFA from CalArts (1989) and a MPS from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program (2009).
Her site specific interactive installations include “News Wheel” presented at Long Beach City College, 2017; “Time Jitters” a commission for the Halsey Institute of Contemporary Art at the College of Charleston, SC, 2014; “The Unemployed” first exhibited at Disseny Hub, Barcelona, 2011 and installed at the Los Angeles International Airport in Terminal 6; as well as “The Blackest Spot” created for Fringe Exhibitions, Los Angeles, 2008.
Among her numerous interactive net art projects are “Spine Sonnet,” 2011 (commissioned by LACMA); “Lines of Life,” 2010 (commissioned by terminalapsu.org); “Without A Trace,” 2009 (commissioned by turbulence.org). Other net art projects include “Ghost City,” 1996-present, an ever changing poetic meditation on the urban environment; “Urban Fragments,” “Talking-walls” and Disembodied Voices.”