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Killing Season Chicago

Krista Wortendyke
Year Grant Awarded 2015

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State > IL Zip Code > 60607
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Killing Season is a 65-foot long data driven installation piece comprised of photographs from the 172 homicide sites in the City of Chicago between Memorial Day and Labor Day in the summer of 2010. The photographs are presented against a caution-orange background and placed in a chronological graph. The form draws attention to the homicides and their frequency in a schematic way. Moving left to right in the piece, there is one column for each day the project spans. Stacked photographs in each column reflect the number of homicides that day as well as document each crime scene. From afar, the arrangement mimics a city skyline and begs the viewer to consider whether this violence is part of the fabric of the urban environment.

Together with the Nyack-based web developers, Liqui-Site Design, we worked to present Killing Season Chicago in a dynamic medium. The challenge was to take this large-scale art installation and produce a meaningful representation of the work that is as impactful online as it is in-person. Liqui-Site designed and executed a continuous horizontal scroll to mimic the act of walking along the installation, as one would encounter it in a museum or on a city street. Each corresponding image is linked to a news report about the homicide, a map of where it occurred, and linked to a blog forum where the user can leave comments and read about my experiences photographing the locations. Additionally, the site has a map of all the homicides represented in the piece that are also linked to the same information. The expanded depth of experience and audience reach that the Internet site provides can help to engage the public in thoughtful conversations about violence in our urban cities as well as in our culture as a whole.