SLIS MuseLab Unveils 'Beauty of Data'

Exhibit Celebrates Campus-wide Collaboration

The MuseLab in the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) will celebrate the latest exhibit in its wall gallery — a campus-wide collaboration titled the “Beauty of Data” — at a public reception on Thursday, Feb. 4, from 5:30 to 7:30 pm.

Brief remarks will be given at 6 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. The MuseLab is located on the third floor of the University Library. Parking is available in front of the Kent Student Center.

People don’t often think of words, numbers, measurements or other pieces of “data” as beautiful. Yet, if they look around, they’ll see that the entire world is built using data — and it’s beautiful.

MuseLab director and SLIS Assistant Professor Kiersten F. Latham, Ph.D., together with museum studies students Cori Iannaggi and Mitch Sumner, invited Kent State researchers from all fields of study to submit visualizations created from their research. Their goal was to find examples of data coming together to create something beautiful.

What they found, and what they invite you to see, are visualizations in both 2D and 3D that far surpassed their expectations.

The “Beauty of Data” explores how beauty is defined by researchers from different academic backgrounds across campus — including Anthropology, Biological Sciences, Fashion, Geography, Geology, Library and Information Science, and Visual Communication Design — in various forms of data visualization.

Highlights of the exhibit include a digital knit scarf designed and created with software instead of by hand; false color images of the collagen in a bonobo ACL; a traditionally crafted canoe paddle and bailer from the Solomon Islands; colorful chapter opener images from a K-8 mathematics dictionary; and a portrait bust of an elderly Pueblo Indian man sculpted with clay.

Iannaggi and Sumner curated and installed the exhibit, under Latham’s direction.

The “Beauty of Data” will be on display through Fall Semester 2016.

Note: Guests at the “Beauty of Data” reception will also enjoy a pop-up exhibit, “Fashion/Tech Hackathon Exhibition 2016,” hosted by the Fashion School in the MuseLab main gallery.

As a component of the museum studies specialization in the School of Library and Information Science, the MuseLab is a creative and collaborative space for thinking, doing and learning about museal things. Follow MuseLab on Facebook andTwitter for updates on exhibits and other news.

Photos: (1) Beauty of Data exhibit; (2) Native American Pueblo Man, Kayla Zatezalo, School of Art / Department of Anthropology