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On the Mode of Communication 1854 (2020)

Ella Sutherland with the ghost of John Snow
May 2020

On the Mode of Communication 1854 (2020) Ella Sutherland with the ghost of John Snow

On the Mode of Communication 1854 (2020)

This drawing is based on a map by English physician, John Snow, of London’s 1854 Cholera epidemic. A particularly deadly cluster of deaths is depicted as stacks of black forms on Broad Street, Golden Square. By creating statistical graphics that revealed the data, Snow was able to discover the cause of the epidemic – water – and bring it to an end by advising the removal of the pump handle, depicted top right.

A pioneering use of evidence, logic, display and analysis, the ability to visualise cause and effect feels more potent than ever.

About Ella Sutherland

Ella Sutherland (Aotearoa) works across the fields of visual art, publishing and language. Sutherland utilizes printing, painting, and installation to analyse and activate complex reading systems across built and digital environments. Her most recent work has drawn on extensive research periods spent in specialist archives, through which she continues to explore the relationship between language and social history and the evolving role of technology in disseminating thought.