Kansas City Art of Data: Using Datasets to Create Art

September 14, 2015 7:00 am PST | Data as a Service
Art of Data

This post was written by Molly Jay. For more on the artists and artwork showcased at Kansas City’s Art of Data event, read our full series on the exhibit.

Art of DataThe “Art of Data” exhibit in Kansas City, Missouri, showcased artists who humanized city datasets into works of art. The datasets were based on statistics like life expectancy by zip code and the city’s homicide rate.

The exhibit celebrates five years of data analysis and reporting with a creative convergence of visual art representing the datasets that drive Kansas City’s innovations and civic decisions. This post features one artist and their artistic interpretation of a dataset.

Artist: Paige Beltowski

Title: A String Hung Loose Behind the Knee

Dataset: various datasets

According to Beltowski, garments embody many things:

  • a palimpsest — something reused or altered but still bearing traces of its earlier form
  • a celebration of accomplishments
  • a vision of hopes for the future
  • or protection from the environment of today

This dataset contains recurring themes of satisfaction and feeling — concepts that are also present in fashion. These garments represent the results of five satisfaction surveys conducted by the city.

Beltowski comments: “Each portion of a garment plays a role in the wearer’s overall satisfaction, just as many factors play into the general public’s perception of overall satisfaction of services provided by the government. Different neighborhoods in a community have different wants and needs, similar to how different garments are designed to serve particular functions based on location, season, functionality, and personal style.”

Want to find out more about how art and data can join forces? At the 2015 Customer Summit, Kansas City’s CDO Eric Roche will talk about the project and Kansas City’s unique approach to citizen engagement.


Find out more about the “Art of Data” session


Previous Article
Public Finance
Open Finance Takes the States

September 15, 2015

Next Article
Civic Awesome, Data News Roundup
Civic Awesome: Open Data in the News for the Week of September 7, 2015

September 11, 2015