Nathalie Miebach is a sculptor who lives in Brookline, MA. She translates weather data and other scientific measurements into three-dimensional objects that accurately display temperature variations, barometric pressure and moon phases.
"My work focuses on the intersection of art and science and the visual articulation of scientific observations. Using the methodologies and processes of both disciplines, I translate scientific data related to astronomy, ecology and meteorology into woven sculptures. My method of translation is principally that of weaving – in particular basket weaving – as it provides me with a simple yet highly effective grid through which to interpret data in three-dimensional space. By staying true to the numbers, these woven pieces tread an uneasy divide between functioning both as sculptures in space as well as instruments that could be used in the actual environment from which the data originates."
Reed, wood, plastic, data
3D Musical Score of the passing of Hurricane Noel through the Gulf of Maine, Nov 6-8, 2007.
"Central to this work is my desire to explore the role visual aesthetics play in the translation and understanding of science information. By utilizing artistic processes and everyday materials, I am questioning and expanding boundaries through which science data has been traditionally visually translated (ex: graphs, diagrams), while at the same time provoking expectations of what kind of visual vocabulary is considered to be in the domain of ‘science’ or ‘art’."
“Changing Waters” looks at the meteorological and oceanic interactions within the Gulf of Maine. Using data from NOAA and GOMOSS buoys within the Gulf of Maine, as well as weather stations along the coast, I am translating data that explores the seasonal variations of marine life by looking at the interactions of atmospheric and marine data. Elements of the rich New England fishing history are also included. This large-scale installation consists of a large wall installation (33 feet wide) that plots information through the geographic anchors of a map of the Gulf of Maine, as well as a series of large, hanging structures (10 feet high) that look at more specific biological, chemical or geophysical relationships between marine ecosystems and weather patterns.
"For my most recent project called Recording and Translating Climate Change, I gather weather observations from specific ecosystems using very simple data-collecting devices. The numbers are then compared to historical / global meteorological trends, before being translated into sculpture. By examining the complex behavioral interactions of living/non-living systems between weather and an environment, I hope to gain a better understanding of complexity of systems and behaviors that make up weather and climate change. Lately, I have also started to translate the data into musical scores, which are then interpreted through sculptures as well as through collaborations with musicians. My aim is twofold: to convey a nuance or level of emotionality surrounding my research that thus far has been absent from my visual work and to reveal patterns in the data musicians might identify which I have failed to see."
Also see coverage of her work in the New York Times, July 10, 2010