Abstract- Roberto Simanowski

The Art of Mapping Data: Statistics, Naturalism, and Transformation

Mapping is a new genre of art based on transforming data sets into another form – numbers into images, movement into sound... The talk will discuss the following questions: What makes this specific form of applied technology art? How does the artist’s specific perspective manifest itself in a piece of mapping art? What is the relation between content and form in mapping art? It is argued that mimetic mapping is a cultural form appropriate to the postmodern denial of grand narrative. In this form of mapping the expression of ideas is replaced by the absolute administration of data and the artist is replaced by the “engineer”. The talk introduces various examples of mimetic and other kinds of mapping. The theoretical discussion relates mapping to topics such as ready-mades, photography, Naturalism, Formalism, and Postmodernism.