Nathalie Miebach's translation of scientific data into beautiful and tangible sculptures is a spectacular feat. Her understanding of both disciplines allows her to seamlessly create her woven sculptures. The product is a testament to her desire to explore the role visual aesthetics play in understanding scientific information. Nathalie's visual explorations not only enlighten the viewer but also entertain and delight.
Her expansion of traditional means in her work allows her to recast data into visually exciting pieces of art. Her approach is in perfect harmony with the goal of Synergy to create an experiment in communicating science through art. It is this form of communication that is central to Synergy.
As Nathalie's practice expands, so does her interpretation of this research. Her artistic journey is an exciting and intriguing process that we are excited to have as part of Synergy.
In Nathalie's words...
Using the methodologies and processes of both disciplines, I translate scientific data related to meteorology, oceanography and ecology into three-dimensional, woven structures and musical scores. My method of translation is principally that of weaving – in particular basket weaving – as it provides me with a simple yet highly effective grid through which to interpret data in three-dimensional space. The data I use is a combination of my own, which I gather on a daily basis using low-tech data-collecting devices, as well as regional or global data from offshore buoys, satellites or weather stations. The latest development of my work also includes the translation of weather / ocean data into musical scores. The scores themselves are built up entirely by data – both recent and historical. The nuanced possibilities inherent in musical notation are used to explore in greater depth the human experience of weather in oceanic environments without compromising the actual data itself. By staying true to the numbers, these woven pieces and musical scores tread an uneasy divide between functioning both as data visualizations in the scientific context and aesthetic pieces of art.
Central to this work is my desire to explore the role visual aesthetics play in the translation and understanding of scientific information. By utilizing artistic processes and everyday materials, I am questioning and expanding the traditional boundaries through which science data has been visually translated (ex: graphs, diagrams), while at the same time provoking expectations of what kind of visual vocabulary is considered to be in the domain of ‘science’ or ‘art’.