Ekene Ijeoma | A Counting
A Counting is a series of linguistic portraits of the U.S. featuring various spoken and sign languages. Created by artist Ekene Ijeoma and his group, Poetic Justice, in response to the U.S. census and its misrepresentation of the ethnic and linguistic diversity in the country, A Counting serves as a meditation and speculation on what a truly united society would look and sound like.
The series includes city-specific spoken language as well as national spoken and sign language editions. Each edition is created by crowdsourcing either phone or camera recordings of people counting to 100 in their languages, and remixing them into counts of 100 with a different person and language for every number. As a “language acknowledgment”, one is always in an Indigenous language, if available.
Learn more about participating in A Counting through the link below.
About the Artist
Ekene Ijeoma is an artist, Assistant Professor in Media Arts and Sciences at MIT, and the founding director of the Poetic Justice group. Ijeoma researches social inequality across multiple fields including social science to develop artworks in sound, video, multimedia, sculpture, and installation. Working from data studies and life experiences, and using both computational design and conceptual art strategies, he re-frames social issues through artworks that embody and empower overlooked truths within systems of oppression.
His work has been commissioned and presented by numerous museums, galleries, and other cultural institutions including The Kennedy Center, Museum of the City of New York, the Arts Club of Chicago, Fondation EDF, Pratt Manhattan Gallery, Neuberger Museum of Art, Annenberg Space for Photography, Museum of Modern Art, Design Museum London, Istanbul Design Biennial, and Storefront for Art and Architecture.
Ijeoma’s practice has also been supported by grants, fellowships and residencies including funding from Creative Capital, MAP Fund, Wave Farm’s Media Arts Assistance Fund, The Kennedy Center‘s Citizen Artist Fellowship, Santa Fe Art Institute‘s Equal Justice Residency, California College of the Arts’s Vibrant Cities initiative, Urban Design Forum’s Forefront fellowship, New York Foundation for the Arts’ Architecture/Environmental Structures/Design Fellowship, and the New Museum‘s IdeasCity Detroit program.
Ijeoma graduated with a BS in Information Technology from Rochester Institute of Technology and an MA in Interaction Design from Domus Academy. He has lectured and critiqued at schools including Yale, Harvard Law School, Columbia, New York University, School of Visual Arts, and The New School.
About Beyond CAMH
Beyond CAMH is a newly launched initiative that reflects contemporary art’s ever-expanding influence through an ongoing series of artist-driven projects and public partnerships extending beyond the walls of the Museum. CAMH’s work outside its galleries—including public artworks and cross-sector collaborations—aims to reach new audiences, embrace unexpected contexts, and directly impact civic life in Houston and beyond. Spanning multiple scales and contexts, Beyond CAMH positions artists as primary catalysts of cultural and public realm transformation.