Mapping Exercise:

Nicolas Grenier 2022
Interactive questionnaire, website, installation
Programming: Nicolas Epstein
Furniture fabrication: Anne-Sophie Jetté & Ange Houtin

Three screenshots of the installation; one with an overview of the table, one with a man sitting at the table filling out the survey on his phone, one with a close-up of the man's phone showing the survey.
Photos: Guy L'Heureux

This work takes the form of an opinion poll that was created for the "Triennale Banlieue! / Interrègne" (July 31 to October 30, 2022), during which the poll was accompanied by an installation at the Maison des arts de Laval (Qc, Canada), and accessible by a QR code posted at various locations of the Triennale.

The results below represent the totality of the responses collected so far, during and after the Triennial. You can still participate by filling out the questionnaire:

Display of Results

In the graphs below, each square or unit corresponds to the answer of one respondent. By default, all the questions and answers are displayed, but you can also create a custom graph by combining two questions:


Q: If you have any comments, suggestions, criticisms, etc., don't hesitate to contact us! They will be published anonymously with the results.


About this project

With "Mapping Exercise: Banlieue", my objectives were to question the methods associated with data collection and interpretation, and to make visible the ambiguous relationship between quantitative and qualitative paradigms.

The world is increasingly measured, represented, managed and governed by numbers derived from data collection. Whether it is the real estate market, natural resource management or health care reform, numbers are generally considered to be reliable and objective, with a measurable margin of error, providing a solid infrastructure on which to build society. However, in many cases, the most important issues - such as the environment, the future of humanity, the meaning of life, human relations, suffering, etc. - are fundamentally qualitative in nature, whose real meaning, always contextual, multidimensional and subjective, cannot be transposed into numbers. Between numbers and reality, there is often a gaping hole. I therefore wanted to give form to this gap between what we try to measure and what it is possible to express through data. Above all, I wanted to make room for subjectivity.

In the survey, the participants were asked, among other things, to answer the questions by creating personalized colours from primary colours. Thus, each answer being a color, any possibility of purely objective interpretation is impossible. But when we consider all the answers, a sort of collective portrait emerges: the accumulation of individual colours in a mosaic transmits a visually explicit reality, completely different from that of numbers or words.

Are colours more, or less, reliable than numbers in measuring socio-political issues? What conclusions can, or cannot, be drawn from them? Some graphs, I believe, speak for themselves. I also invite you to combine them with the custom graphics options at the top of the page.

Nicolas Grenier 2022


Thanks to Nicolas Epstein for the programming, to Anne-Sophie Jetté and Ange Houtin for the fabrication of the furniture, and to the entire team of the Triennale Banlieue. This project was made possible by the Triennale Banlieue, the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and the Canada Council for the Arts.