SchoolArts Magazine

September 2015

SchoolArts is a national art education magazine committed to promoting excellence, advocacy, and professional support for educators in the visual arts since 1901.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 29 of 58

Combining Streams of Raw Data with Sculpture and Music V isual art is a subject that con- nects, interfaces, and even encompasses perhaps every academic subject, topic, and area of study. The recent emphasis on STEAM education reflects this truth and underscores the absolute neces- sity of including the visual arts in K–12 education and beyond. About the Artist: Nathalie Miebach While there are many contemporary artists exploring the intersections of art and science, none do it quite like Nathalie Miebach, whose work combines streams of raw data with sculpture and music. Miebach's work focuses on the visual interpretation of scientific observations that she accu- mulates herself from weather, ecol- ogy, and astronomy data. Her major goals are to enable the viewer to come to an understanding about scientific principles through intriguing, often playful, sculpture and installation, and to expand the boundaries by which scientific data can be visually represented. Miebach holds degrees in political science and East Asian studies, art education, and an MFA in sculpture. The impetus for her artwork came while simultaneously taking exten- sion courses in astronomy and basket- weaving. As she wove the horizontal and vertical bands of the baskets, she noticed the similarities between the weaving process and mapping grids of star systems. Her woven sculptures provide the horizontal and vertical elements onto which she positions wind patterns, ocean currents, hurri- cane tracks, and constellations. About the Artwork: Retiring Bob Many of Miebach's works chronicle hurricanes, nor'easters, and vari- ous storms that occur in the Gulf of Maine region where she lives. Retir- ing Bob refers to Hurricane Bob from 1991, and the practice of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association of retiring the names of particularly destructive storms. The piece trans- lates weather data from ocean buoys and weather stations along the East- Nathalie Miebach, Hurricane Noel III, 2015. Reed, wood, rope, data, 18 x 18 x 18" (45 x 45 x 45 cm). Image courtesy Nathalie Miebach. ern Seaboard as Hurricane Bob trav- eled up the coast. In the lower-left is a graveyard for previously retired storm names. In recent work, Miebach has ven- tured even further into interdisci- plinary territory by translating the weather data used to create her sculp- tures into musical scores and having them performed by classical musi- cians. This recalls the "star music" of composer Philip Glass, who placed maps of constellations and star sys- tems over blank music sheets, mak- ing eighth and sixteenth notes where stars intersected the staff of the sheet. Miebach's goals are to enable the viewer to come to an understanding about scientific principles through intriguing, often pla ful, sculpture and installation, and to expand the boundaries b hich scientific data can be visuall represented. SCHOOLARTSMAGAZINE.COM 25 L O O K I N G & L E A R N I N G N AT H A L I E M I E B AC H V i s u a l I n t e r p r e t a t i o n s o f S c i e n t i f i c O b s e r v a t i o n s

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of SchoolArts Magazine - September 2015