mapping: data vs subject

Retraining as remapping: We have been trained to consider charts, graphs, and geography when determining how we fit into social, political, or even viral epidemiological narratives.

This statistical awareness is often a reductive summary standing in for the whole or the specific. Yet, we should consider whether the map/model is the ground against which we are the figure (ground>figure as data>individual) or the inverse, where we are the ground and the data is the figure (figure>ground as individual>data). If the data is the figure, we can fight to edit it and overcome it.

We are trained to read a model (map/chart) a certain way—to see where we fit against the legend or true north—but if we self-compose (create ourselves) based on a low-resolution model, we can see that our society is trained to reinforce statistical normativity, so consider ourselves in relation to the position of external determinants.

Whether the individual is subservient to the data (ground>figure) the normalization of relating to a model confronts the notion of “individuality”, from which we swing back to challenging the data (figure>ground) as a zero-point from which to model social autonomy, which of course remodels the model.

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