Sculptor finds art in economic data


April 26, 2012

Rotated Dow Jones Industrial Average graph shows several key economic events

Rotated Dow Jones Industrial Average graph shows several key economic events

Image Gallery (7 images)

With the 3D craze sweeping across everything from movies to printing, it was only a matter of time before data presentation entered the realm of the tangible, too. Sculptor Luke Jerram wanted to better understand the significance of the charts and figures the media bombards us with daily, so he took performance graphs for several years of New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) data and rotated them about their X-axis. The resulting sculptures turned out to be both visually compelling and highly unusual.

To transfer the 3D computer graphic information into the real world, Jerram teamed up with wood turner Paul Brooks, who carved the wooden forms used for the sculpture molds as shown in the video below. The DJIA piece (12.2 inches/31 cm long) is made from standard solid-cast optical glass, while a specially-designed glass bead composite was developed for the NYSE artwork (8.26 inches/21 cm long).

Rotated Dow Jones Industrial Average graph shows several key economic events

In terms of cultural relevance, the sculptures might be more telling of the true social consequences had the graphs been adjusted for inflation or true spending power of the dollar figures used, but even so, it's interesting to see several key economic impacts framed in glass – the 2009 crash, for instance, is clearly evident in both pieces.

"The human impact of the 2009 crash, as shown in the sudden change in the artworks' diameter is really significant, and yet this is just an altering line in a piece of glass," Jerram said. "What will the sculpture defining the next 10 years look like?" That's a very good question. Jerram's works will be on display at the Heller Gallery in New York City from June 8th to July 7th.

Source: Luke Jerram

About the Author
Randolph Jonsson A native San Franciscan, Randolph attended the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis, Maryland before finding his way to the film business. Eventually, he landed a job at George Lucas' Industrial Light + Magic, where he worked on many top-grossing films in both the camera and computer graphics departments. A proud member of MENSA, he's passionate about technology, optimal health, photography, marine biology, writing, world travel and the occasional, well-crafted gin and tonic! All articles by Randolph Jonsson

Looks to me like someone was turned loose on a lathe with no particular design in mind. By itself it is worthless. Add pertinent information to the picture and you have.....wait for it.....a graph.


I like it. If I look at the edge I see the graph representing billions of traded dollars, people taking risks,, bankers lying and traders rushing on the stock market floor. And then as I pull back it morphs into an interesting sculpture. It's takes a moment of effort but art is worth it.

The Hoff
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