Black-and-white map of the United State, displaying a visualization of wind patterns similar to the swirls on marble.

Seeing the Unseeable: Data, Design, Art


We live in the age of Big Data: extremely large data sets collected from multiple sources by scientists, businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and others. Data visualization—the practice of representing data—is one of the primary tools used to make these massive amounts of data understandable, transforming them into knowledge. Within the sciences, data visualization conveys information in a compelling manner; in art, it transforms information into a canvas for creative expression. Over the past 20 years, artists and designers have incorporated data visualization into their work, both as a way of critiquing it and as a new form of storytelling. Seeing the Unseeable explores how art, science, and design have become integrated in the work of both scientists and contemporary artists.

"Wind Map, Visualization of wind patterns in the US on November 2," 2013, Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg. Courtesy of Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg. ©Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg.

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