100% Plovdiv

A statistical chain reaction

By Haug / Kaegi / Wetzel

Your view of the Bulgarian city Plovdiv may vary widely depending on what neighborhood you live in, how much money you make and what religion you have. The city means radically different things to different people because of how they experience it—beliefs, politics, concerns are often the results of people's isolated experiences. 

Everyone knows there are others who differ radically from themselves—they can read the statistics. But what happens when those "statistics" share a stage together? What happens when those hot button issues are addressed live to 100 true representatives of the cross section of the city? What side of the pie chart would you walk to? Who will stand apart? Who will fall back into the majority?

For statistical purposes, people are regularly converted into pie wedges, bars and curves – which are then used to make political arguments or to create economic cost-benefit strategies. What if these statistics were given faces? What if the 346.173 people that make up Plovdiv’s population was represented on stage by 100 persons?

Spreading throughout the city, 100% Plovdiv will beginn with the casting of one member who has to recruit another in 24 hours, who then recruites another and so on – all according to specific criteria of age, gender, household type, geography, language and population group mirroring the demographic make-up the second-largest city of Bulgaria.

100% Plovdiv is a gathering that is a city, a group just beginning to experience itself, a choir that has never practiced, an impossible entity with many faces – assembled into ever-changing new group pictures: group pictures as replacement for family – as fleeting portraits of belonging.