“Data Outpost” by M. Pell

“Datascrapers” — volume 2

a data art series by M. Pell

Data is as much art as science in my eyes.

My exploration of data as an artistic subject continues with Volume 2 of the Datascrapers series. This round finds the pieces becoming a bit darker, visually and figuratively. The use of atmospheric effects and natural settings creates a more ominous feel for common data science topics, but others retain their futuristic TRON-esque digital feel. Like the direction the pieces going.

What do you think?

[ LARGER images below ]


This data artwork series has three major influences — the incredible output of 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 fluidly exploring well-known census datasets within SandDance, some impressions began to form for pieces. The resulting images are based on those actual data visualizations of census data, further interpreted as art from my perspective.

The unique aspect of this art is that all of the tall Datascraper shapes are composed of hundreds of discrete data points from the dataset expressed as 3D “cubes” that are combined, colored, and scaled in various ways.

The final part of the process is compositing the data visualization rendering with backdrops and atmospheric effects to achieve the essence of the piece.


It’s difficult to work on anything expressive these days without seeing it through the lens of socially topical issues. Definitely feels like there’s a social consciousness present in the work that I didn’t intentionally seek, but crept in. And that’s exactly the type of heavy reflection within viz that inspires me each year as I return to NYC for #Visualized.

See if you find data informed inspiration here, too.

– M. Pell

The data art series “Datascrapers” — volume 2
“Data Storm”

“Uneven Distribution”

“Data Fog”

“Data Bridge”

“Data Goldmine”

“Data Source”


“Data Outpost”


Mike Pell leads Design for The Microsoft Garage, the company’s outlet for experimental projects. Bold, insightful and uncompromising, he is recognized as a thought leader in the field of Holographic Visualization and Smart Information.

Twitter: @mryankeeslicker

Find out more at


HoloScenes” — envisioning holographic experiences
 “Datascrapers” — a data art series
 “Fast Design” — the art of moving your ideas forward
 “Designers: Adapt or Die” — learn to code or be irrelevant

All artwork — Copyright © 2017 Mike Pell, All Rights Reserved.