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Dutch artist Willem Besselink has an impressive collection of physical data art pieces. The biggest might be the 10mx6m RE:ID [willembesselink.nl], which represented the locations of about 12,000 visitors during a Museum Night in Rotterdam. The large-scale visualization installation was spread out like a building site on a public square: building workers literally piled up concrete slabs at certain designated spots on the pavement to indicate the different venues, and their actual amount of visitors. Physical walls were then built out of bricks and cement, to indicate the most popular routes walked by the visitors through the city.

While you visit Willem's website, be sure have a look around for other data sculptures. Timelines visualizes the use of a specific house during the 1950's and the way it is going to be used in the future, by marking the routes that all persons of each of 2 families took through their apartments during 1 day, using 2 distinct colours of tape: yellow for the elderly couple, green for the big family. The lay-out of the future apartment was marked using red tape, and according the routes of the future family with blue tape.

Step Counter conveys the amount of people using a stairs during 1 hour on a regular day. Each time a person used a certain step of the stairs, a wooden plank in a certain color was glued on the step. As a second person using the step, a second plank in another color was glued on top of the first, and so on.

16 Days compares a heart rate with the temperatures in Sarajevo by a cubic grid of 16 x 16 nylon wires that were stretched between the ceiling and the floor.

PICTURA visualizes the positions of visitors in 2 different museum spaces by way of suspended, colored LED lights.

And so on and so on. Physical data art sculptures at its best.

See also Tim Schwartz, Loren Madsen, Joshua Callaghan, Nicolas Lobo, Sylvia Eckermann, Peter Dykhuis, and Christina Ray.