Windward | Windword: Elemental Metaphors for Data Art

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  • Windward | Windword: Elemental Metaphors for Data Art

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  • The advent of the much-publicized crisis of 2015 cast human migration as one of the biggest issues yet facing western society. Many artists directed their attention to the ethical and emotional undertow of the crisis, in particular, merging visual art and critical design through exploring shifting forms of data representation. This poignant example of affective rationalism urges a renewed look at the way informational ecologies may move from an immeasurable source to measurable data, and then to immeasurable artistic/aesthetic outputs. In this way, quotidian data sources like weather data may play a vital role in providing metaphors for driving deeply affective digital narratives and immersive experiences. This paper presents one example of this through a series of artistic experimentations done as part of the research-creation project Windward | Windword. In this series, artworks combine the author’s personal experiences in advocacy for undocumented migrants in Seattle, Washington, and broader aesthetics derived from access to readily available human migration data.

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