“The Weight of Ideas” Interactive Installation: 2019 Results

As part of the 2019 festival, TENWEST organizers hired artist Amy Jorgensen to create a collaborative art piece aimed at demonstrating if we are a cities of do-ers or dreamers. The below is a summary of the findings. Read more background on the installation here.

After carefully tabulating the results from “The Weight of Ideas” at TENWEST 2019, I thought there would be an obvious “winner” in the inquiry about whether or not Tucson was a city of dreamers or do-ers. Over 300 people interacted with the project, either writing down an idea or an action on a weighted tag, or sticking an “agreement weight” onto a tag with something they agreed with.

Throughout the course of the TENWEST event at the TCC, the large scale tipped back and forth a few times, revealing no obvious answer. The glaringly most popular of all ideas and actions was “Plant/Water Trees” with a total of 24 people either writing this down on a weighted tag or adding an agreement weight to an existing tag.

The next heaviest/most popular idea with 13 people behind it was “Train between Tucson and Phoenix”. Ten people agreed that “Mental Health & First Aid training in work places” was a good action we can take to improve our town.  Overall, the ideas and actions balanced each other out– totals for each were fairly close: there were 59 total actions and 52 total ideas, but overall, the actions out-weighed the ideas 178 to 165. “Keep Tucson Crappy” was one of my favorite ideas and “Create a suicide outreach team for loss and attempt survivors” was my favorite Action. Here’s a list of the more popular ideas and actions:
Ideas with at least 3 Agreements:

  • Train between Tucson and Phoenix (13)
  • Free parking (9)
  • Extend the street car lines (8)
  • Rainwater harvesting in every yard (6)
  • To be free of fear (5)
  • Help families own their homes to create stable communities (5)
  • Safe and accessible bike and pedestrian infrastructure everywhere (5)
  • Better bike infrastructure (4)
  • Even more biking (4)
  • No cars downtown(4)
  • More bus tours around Tucson (4)
  • G.I. Green infrastructure on city and county land (4)
  • More neighborhood events (4)
  • Be excellent to each other and be the change you want to see (4)
  • More green- incentives for business to plant in parking lots, next to builidngs and rights of way (4)

Actions with atleast 3 Agreements:

  • Plant & water trees (24)
  • Mental health and first aid training in work places (13)
  • Give time to listen to people (10)
  • Pick up litter and recycle more (7)
  • Make more art! Public art! (6)
  • Pay farm workers a living wage (6)
  • Read to children. It improves their chance of success (6)
  • Help start-ups/entrepreneurs connect with services they need! (6)
  • Reach out to people that are lonely and need help to get everyone to know each other to have better communities (5)
  • Support local buy nothing groups to support the gift economy; preserve the planet (4)
  • Don’t let fear paralyze you: do anything/something (4)
  • Ensure systems are equitable for all Arizonans and education and public life (4)
  • Start a historic automobile cruise down the historic miracle mile gateway and turn it into a festival (4)
  • Work toward uniting native people on both sides of the border through liberation, education & free movement (4)
  • Create more wildlife corridors on busy highways (4)
  • Solar power (4)

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