Monster in a Snow Globe. Biographies as Data Physicalizations
Florian Windhager, Viola Rühse, Smuc Michael
2023-10-24T23:45:00ZGMT-0600Change your timezone on the schedule page
The data sculpture "Monster in a Snowglobe" offers a distant reading perspective on the life and work of the Austrian painter Herwig Zens (1943-2019). The 3D-printed artifact assembles major steps and movements of the artist's biography as an annotated trajectory in space and time. Its data selection draws both from biographical knowledge and from autobiographical entries in a unique diary, which the artist etched into a sequence of copper plates during his lifetime. A complete print of the diary—also referred to as “monster” due to its procedural and perceptual complexity—is considered the longest etching in the world at 40 meters and was partially presented at the Museum of Art History in Vienna in Spring 2023. In this context, the data sculpture reframed the ephemeral complexity of a modern path of life as a material mimicry and instance of perpetual presence in an object-oriented exhibition environment.