Visualizing connectivity: Data as evidence in The Architecture of Radio

Eef Masson, Karin van Es


The Architecture of Radio is an iOS and Android app visualizing the data infrastructures that enable contemporary practices of observation, communication, and navigation. In this paper, we take the app as a starting point for exploring the broader issue of how notions of data as evidence wield their influence in visualization practice — even in the context of projects that their makers explicitly position as artistic or speculative endeavors. In the process, we consider the app’s interface and its functionalities, along with the discourse around it, including reviews. The latter in particular are highly revealing of how, despite disclaimers in promotional and other related materials, the apps and their makers are held to precisely the sort of evidentiary standards that they are seeking to break away from. In looking for explanations, we relate those reactions to conventions for the selection and representation of data that producers of (all) visualizations rely on.

Full Text:



A Great Cities Initiative of the University of Illinois at Chicago University Library.

© First Monday, 1995-2019. ISSN 1396-0466.