Mapping sound and fury: At the borders of art and information

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInternational Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Art theory
  • Cybernetics
  • Data visualization
  • Digital
  • Information visualization
  • New media
  • Visuality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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