A Poetics of the Data Image
In a world where information is ubiquitous, something has been lost in the firm delineation made between “raw” data and its eventual representation or visualization. This work proposes the concept of a data-image as translating function in this process, operating between past presence and future possibility. It originated with a single practical question for data artists: what is at stake in the technical means by which data is either captured or translated into representation? An analysis of the data-image reveals gaps left unaddressed by existing frameworks shaping the field of data visualization, opening up a radical space of possibility in the aesthetics and politics of image-making. In its extension of the notion of operative images beyond the visual, the data-image also poses broader social implications for privacy and surveillance issues. But what is this latent data-image and what does it do?