“The Outlier”


a data art series by M. Pell

Data is as much art as science in my eyes.

This artwork series had three major influences — the experimental data explorer called “SandDance” released through The Microsoft Garage earlier this year, the thoughtful and somewhat heavy social commentary found within the annual Visualized conference in Manhattan, and of course the skyscrapers of my beloved NYC.

By using well-known datasets and fluidly exploring the resulting datascapes with SandDance, impressions began to form for socially-tinged topics. The unique aspect here being that all of the individual cubes within the “Datascrapers” shapes are actually discrete data points from a particular dataset — almost like individual voices or opinions. The resulting images below are actual data visualizations of those datasets, further interpreted as art from my perspective.

By mixing the world of data science with the architecture of NYC, and then viewing it through the lens of topical issues, it feels like there’s a social consciousness present in the work that I didn’t intentionally seek. But, it’s there, and exactly that type of heavy reflection within viz that inspires me each year as I return to NYC for #Visualized.

See if you find it there, too.

– M. Pell

First in a continuing series.

“Underlying Data”

“The United Cubes of America”

“The One Percent”

“The Emerald Data”

“Stacked Gold”

“Points of Interest”

“Low Income Data”

“Diablo Towers”


“Data Island”

“Data Blade”

“Data Array”

“The Outlier”


Mike Pell is leading Design for The Microsoft Garage, an innovation accelerator turning employee’s wild ideas into reality daily, worldwide. Bold, insightful and uncompromising, Mike is recognized as a thought leader in the field of Holographic Visualization and Smart Information.


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All artwork Copyright © 2016 Mike Pell, All Rights Reserved.