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ADS-VIS2011: Making visible the invisible: Art, Design and Science in Data Visualisation

An international two-day conversational* conference on meta-disciplinary collaboration between the arts, design and sciences scheduled for March 10th/11th 2011 at the University of Huddersfield, UK.
The event is not about giving papers (although there will be a peer-reviewed publication and opportunity to submit to a journal) but about interdisciplinary exchange and debate into the questions that arise in the process of collaborating on data visualisations that involve arts, design and sciences. Multi-disciplinary, inter-disciplinary, trans-disciplinary.
A subtext to the event is works impact in the light of the debates around climate change, ecological literacy and sustainability.

Conversational format

If you wish to participate please send us a 'letter of intent' not longer then 300 words. It should outline why you wish to attend the event, how you think you could contribute to the conversations and which of the themes of the conference your relate to, e.g. interdisciplinarity, art, design, science, data-visualisation, ecological literacy, etc.. Give us good reasons to invite you.


‘Data visualisation’ encompasses as vast range of practice. It reaches from clear and unambiguous mappings and elucidating interactive animations of data, all the way to sonifications and more experimental physical installations.

Accessible technology and open-data formats have resulted in works of unprecedented scale and complexity - often the result of collaboration between different disciplines.
This has resulted in an increased visibility of visualisations, both on the web and in the physical world, as a device to communicate scientific data in a more tangible and evocative manner.

Partly this increased visibility may result from the debates around climate change, sustainability and ecological literacy and aims at public impact. Two major London 2009 art exhibitions, “Earth” 2009 at the Royal Academy of the Arts, and “Radical Nature” 2009 at the Barbican, included ‘visualisation art’ exhibits. Likewise did “The Royal Society’s Summer Science Exhibition 2010” at the Southbank Centre. Its 40 scientific exhibition stalls used countless examples of scientific visualisations to communicate relevant scientific findings beyond words.


The symposium aims at bringing different disciplines together in an interdisciplinary setting, such as biologists, mathematicians, cyberneticists, physicists, environmental scientists, artists and designers that use scientific data visualisation or make use of scientific instruments or processes.

We invite submissions from this wide range of data visualisations, such as using live data from instruments or static data, including physical visualisations, sonifications or data sculptures.

We are particularly interested in visualisations that emerged from interdisciplinary collaborations and that acknowledged the process of communication from one disciplinary culture to another: How did exchange and dialogue develop over time? How could they be actively facilitated and nourished? Are there methods to foster meta-disciplinary dialogue?

Visualisation works include, but are not limited to, physical installations, sonification (earthquakes, quasars, DNA), multi-modal displays, information design, data visualisation and other sensual aesthetic approaches such as visitor participation or collaboration, embodied interaction, biofeedback and neuro-plastic approaches, telematic live-experience, animal, plant or other natural processes (micro-organisms, chemical reactions, sub-atomic processes).

The format of the symposium is conversational. It is not about giving papers but about exchange and conversation in interdisciplinary groups.


- Formulate the key questions concerning the future challenges of data-visualisation, technology, role of collaboration, consequences for education, multi-disciplinary language and dialogue.
- To initiate highest quality interdisciplinary debate in an area in which ecology, cybernetics, consciousness research and scientific visualisation have a common interest. Resulting in new relevant questions and promising areas for further exploration.
- Present highest quality research & practice on interdisciplinary state-of-the-art data visualisation.
- Provide an opportunity for dialogue and exchange between artists, designers, professionals and researchers that engage in the data ‘visualisation,’ especially physical data visualisation
- Enrich and stimulate the research culture of staff and students at the University of Huddersfield through highest quality presentations and debate
- Create a platform for networking and debate among invited experts, participants, staff and students.

* Conversational format
means that instead of traditional paper presentations there will be interdisciplinary conversations. The event is about dialogue and exchange in smaller groups discussing important questions around topics such as interdisciplinary collaboration, data-visualisation, ecology or abstract/actual. For more information on conversational conferences:

The inspiration for this conversational format came from participating at the conference “Cybernetics: Art, Design, Mathematics — A Meta-Disciplinary Conversation” organised by members of the American Society of Cybernetics in August 2010.

Please find the official university CfP here:

last update: 10/23/02013 22:11

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