Sculptor finds art in economic data
April 26, 2012
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).
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