Can data ever be significant without interpretation? In a recent Atlantic article on the rise of the data artist, a stark distinction is drawn between data presentations and data art. Visualization projects like R. Luke Dubois’ “A More Perfect Union” and David McCandless’ various “Information is Beautiful” projects fall on the side of the latter, whereas projects such as “Rich Blocks Poor Blocks” might be considered “closer to the data.” However what are the implications of seeing certain approaches to data analytics as artistic and others as more scientifically objective? The presence of the artist makes itself known in projects that explicitly use visuals to evoke sentiments in the individual, who surrounded in a modern sea of information, must grapple with the ways in which their identities and environments are being newly defined. But the process of cleaning data, selecting variables, and asking certain questions of a dataset could be defined as an artistic process as well, imbued with individual choices and altered by ideological conditioning.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://blog.datasciencedojo.com/creativity-in-data-science/