Art that Visualizes Data to be Showcased at TCNJ Art Gallery

Art that Visualizes Data to be Showcased at TCNJ Art Gallery
Tristan Perich's "Machine Drawing"

This spring, The College of New Jersey will present a multimedia exhibition that explores the emerging art of data visualization. Entitled Illuminating Data: Visualizing the Information that Moves Our World, the exhibition will include work by more than 20 artists who employ innovative approaches to visualizing data through dynamic installations, sculptures, algorithmically drawn prints, video, animation, and many other forms of new media.

As exhibition curator Christopher Ault, chair of the Interactive Multimedia Program at TCNJ, explains, “people are increasingly connected to streams of data, through computers, phones, and other electronic devices. On the one hand, convenient access to this data is empowering; however, the data can also be overwhelming and indecipherable. The artists in the exhibition employ imaginative approaches to managing and interpreting this data through the practice of art.”

Among the dynamic works of art in the exhibition is Nathalie Miebach’s External Weather, Internal Storms, which explores weather patterns through three-dimensional sculpture, which in turn is translated into a musical score. Riley Harmon’s piece What It Is Without the Hand That Wields It creates a physical manifestation of an online video game through electronic solenoid valves that respond to virtual game “kills” by dispensing small amounts of fake blood. Christopher Baker’s installation Murmur Study comprises 20 thermal receipt printers that spew forth live Twitter updates, and, as one critic

Christopher Baker's "Murmur Study"

has noted, “perfectly captures the torrent of the information age in all its glory and waste.” Tristan Perich’s Machine Drawing, which will be created live over the five-week course of the exhibition, is a direct visualization of mathematical algorithms that the artist programs in two machines that move a pen across the surface of the gallery wall. As the artist explains, “The motors, the geometry, the code, the pen, the wall, all are married in the drawing.”

Other works that will be on view in the exhibition include Stefanie Posavec’s visualizations of the language and structure of literature, including Jack Kerouac’s On the Road; Paul May’s sculptural visualization derived from articles in The New York Times; and Andrew Kuo’s visualizations of his inner emotions through prints such as I Got a Problem/Waiting for a Mushroom Lasagna to Cook on February 20th, 2010.

Illuminating Data will be on view from March 14 to April 18, 2012 in the Arts and Interactive Multimedia Building (AIMM) at TCNJ. Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from NOON to 7 P.M. and Sunday from 1 to 3 P.M. Admission is free and open to the public. Exhibitions at TCNJ are funded in part by the Mercer County Cultural and Heritage Commission through funding from the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts.

For more information about this and other exhibitions and programs at the TCNJ Art Gallery, visit or call 609.771.2633.

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