Mapping Sound and Fury: At the Borders of Art and Information

By Meredith Hoy.

Published by The Technology Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

This paper explores the relationship between information visualization and the fine arts. While neo-Kantian aesthetics have often privileged purity, essence, and above all, the non-utility of the art object, this paper argues that the practice of information visualization and its incursion into the domain of the fine arts problematize this model by introducing the notion of utility into the aesthetic register. Although information visualization is often a scientific practice, this paper considers examples that bridge the domains of art and science. The projects addressed here derive their formal and conceptual success from their meditations on utility, the very notion that is anathema to a neo-Kantian account of what should be included in the art-historical canon. As such, this paper proposes to expand the boundaries of what kinds of artifacts can count as art by offering an interpretive framework for information aesthetics.

Keywords: Information Visualization, Digital, Cybernetics, Visuality, Art Theory, New Media, Data Visualization

International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 8, Issue 6, pp.103-112. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 342.111KB).

Dr. Meredith Hoy

Assistant Professor, Art Department, University of Massachusetts, Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Meredith Hoy is an assistant professor of contemporary art in the Art Department at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 2010. Her current book project, entitled From Point to Pixel: A Genealogy of Digital Aesthetics, traces links between contemporary digital art and modern painting. Drawing on theories of visuality, space and spatial practice, cybernetics and systems theory, phenomenology, and post-structuralism and semiotics, her research focuses on the impact of technology on art and visual culture. She has written on modern and contemporary art and architecture, generative art, information visualization, and the phenomenology of networked space. She teaches courses on modern and contemporary art, visual culture, and media studies.

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