One of my long term areas of interest is design in general but especially information visualization. Even one of my theses during was about aesthetically pleasing layout algorithms for trees/hierarchies (For you tech guys: Done in the mid eighties in LOOPS/Flavors/LISP and Smalltalk-80 on Apollo Workstations for application in an expert system shell).
Hence i was also always interested in the work of Edward Tufte, i own printed exemplars of both “Envisioning Information” and “Visual Display of Quantitative Information” and follow his “Ask E.T.” forum regulary.
Hence a couple of years i ago i was struck by a short news report about an artist that recently died under somewhat “indifferent circumstances”. The hand-crafting diagrams that envision complex networks of relations in such a beautiful and informative manner that it is generally considered as art. Unfortunately i didn’t hear/remember his name. Since i wanted to know more about him and his work i was lost.
A couple of half hearted-attempts googling with various search term i deemed clever didn’t reveal a name. So this weekend i finally embarked on the mission to find the name of the artist. After quite some time i finally found the right links leading to his name (as some as you may have known from my description): Mark Lombardi and a book about called “Mark Lombardi Global Networks”.
I immediateley ordered it at Amazon and it arrived yesterday. The book is more or less the catalogue for an exhibition traveling through north america for quite some years now. Unfortunately it isn’t coming to europe. I can wholeheartily recommend it for everyone even remotely interested in the the topic of envisioning information.
AFAIK it is a very long way until algorithms exist that are able to even remotely resemble the aesthetic quality and information density of Mark Lombardis’ drawings.
Unfortunately, i couldn’t find a large print poster of one of his drawings. So if somebody out there knows where to get one, drope me a note.
Update: I had the chance to see what i suppose to be an original print of george w. bush, harken energy and jackson stevens at USA Today, an exhibition at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art. To my surprise the print was much smaller than i anticipated, not much bigger than the version in the book