2011. Mark Lombardi’s visualization discovery. @ Visual Literacy Conference (ADS-VIS)

Mark Lombardi is known for his conceptual art, in particular for his diagrammatic drawing. Lombardi called his diagrams ‘narrative structures’ where he attempted to capture the global frauds by politicians and power brokers. His work been displayed in numerous international museums and galleries across the world. Many visualisation scholars (academics and professionals) discuss his work and see it as major influential contribution to the domain of visualisation. While the contribution of science and technology is well documented in the literature of visualisation, we raise the question of whether art can help us gain a new understanding of the subject of visualisation.
In order to address this question, we examined the data structure and classification inside Mark Lombardi’s drawings. Our methodology, concept map analysis, is based on the measurements of frequency and classification of words/concepts found within his diagram drawings. We found that most of the terms found in his drawings are personal names that do not provide background information about their job title, their geographical locations, or their contribution to the frauds. As a result, we were unable to further analyse the statistical relationships we set up in our sample. We discovered that the terms ‘Defense’, ‘Military’ and ‘Government’ were the most frequent terms appearing in his drawings. Although we did not locate an empirical theme or classification scheme in his work, we found the need for an alternative methodology that would allow us to measure central themes and concepts found in the visualisation works. This epistemology will need to address not only quantitative and computer data but also the work of art and its contribution to the visualisation domain.

2011 Friedman, A. “Mark Lombardi’s visualization discovery.” Visual Literacy Conference (ADS-VIS) 2011, Huddersfield, UK.