Artists Dip into Big Data in Creating New Works of Art

Loren Munk, "Aesthetic Discomfort Chart", 2005-2006, oil on linen, 54"x60", Courtesy of the artist and Freight + Volume, New York

Big Data isn’t just for numbers crunching anymore or mapping flu trends with Google clicks to see where there’s a flu epidemic.  It’s now the subject of serious art as the Paul Robeson Galleries at Rutgers University in Newark, NJ, hosts an exhibit called “Datascapes.”

According to the exhibit’s introduction, “the need to convey data, statistics, and territory in a creative manner is a challenge embraced by artists who have used data abstractions—including maps, charts, and diagrams—as the basis for their work.  Artists explore how visual representation of information can manifest not only the literal and calculable, but also the intangible, inestimable, and subjective.

Social media is interacting with so much of our daily lives that it is no wonder artists are looking at it with new eyes and incorporating into new visual representations and artistic visions. We know that social media is part social and part media.  Now it is part art.

Loren Monk’s “Aesthetic Discomfort Chart”, 2005-2006, oil on linen, 54″x60″ is pictured above. Other art works on display can be seen by going to the Robeson Galleries’ web site:

A short two-minute NJTV news story on the “Datascapes” exhibit can be seen on:

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