CPI Drawing (2017)


Dimensions: 1.7 x 5.2 meters
Materials: Brown packing paper, graphite pencil


Capitalist economies exist as a cycle, repeatedly moving from boom to bust. The way we move from one part of the cycle to another, is often charted solely through statistics. One of these statistics is the Consumer Price Index (CPI), which tracks the general cost of living by creating a ‘shopping basket’ of all the goods and services that are consumed by individuals. Yearly, the overall cost of this ‘shopping basket’ inflates or deflates. Us- ing these inflation rates of the CPI, you can see numerically how the cost of living has changed over time. However, these numbers don’t provide a physical idea of how costs have changed, and telling someone only the inflation rate of their cost of living doesn’t provide them with tangible information.

Taking this string of inflation rates from my the length of my life (in 2017), 1996 to 2016, I attempt to make them physical. Translating the numbers into notes, played into music, the track is played on repeat, while the numbers are also drawn on repeat. Working down the sheet, the drawing becomes a physical activity, giving the numbers a physical presence while simultaneously removing the context of the information.

CPI Drawing (2017) Full View - Image taken by the artist