Survey Field


interactive internet project (no longer extant)

An experiment into the representation of public opinion and on-line communities. The opinions of large number of anonymous participants are presented in the form of a grid of red, green or blue coloured points, corresponding to each participant's geographical location.

From project information page, formerly at (no longer extant):

Survey Field is a non-commercial internet project conceived by Canadian artist Germaine Koh and realized with the technical collaboration of the art collective Artengine. It is an independent experiment into the representation of public opinion and on-line communities.

Survey Field collects the opinions of large number of anonymously registered participants on a series of questions, and presents these in the form of a grid of coloured points. Each individual participant is assigned a position within this array, roughly corresponding to his/her geographical location(1). According to the opinion he/she submits, this point appears red, green, blue or unlit. Red indicates no, green yes, and blue undecided/maybe, while an unlit position indicates that no answer was given.

Because of the nature of light (with red, blue and green primaries of light visually combining into other primary colours), the array records incremental yet imprecise tendencies in popular opinion, with as much emphasis on the realms of uncertainty as on the 'clear' opinions themselves (ie. apparent cyan, magenta and yellow indicate mixtures of yes-maybe, no-maybe, and yes-no respectively, while apparent tones of grey indicate a very mixed response). Visually, the result is an unstable colour field whose subtle variations indicate shades of public opinion.

Registered participants may also submit questions to be put to the surveyed field.

1   Geographical location is approximated in the grid without reference to national borders and based on an abstracted world map.

Solo Exhibitions: Western Front, Field Work, May-Jun 2003.
Group Exhibitions:, Location is Everything, 2005.
Group Exhibitions: Year Zero One, Splash Page Project, Sep 2003.
Catalogues & Books: Dave Dyment, Germaine Koh: Stall, 2004. Read
Reviews, Articles & Essays: Robin Laurence, Georgia Straight, 12-19 Jun 2003. PDF

Germaine Koh, Survey Field, 2003, interactive internet project. Sample question page.