From visualization to physicalization:

Wildfire Data in Art and Science

August 28, 2020, 12 noon MT

Location: Online (Zoom).

Admission: FREE, all ages welcome. Donations accepted. 100 seat limit.

Presented by LASER Santa Fe, with Leonardo / ISAST (International Society for Art Science and Technology)

Given a numerical table of wildfire data, how many of us would be able to understand the wildfire’s intensity, spread or movement, its response to fuel load, wind direction or topography, or how it might be affected by human interventions? Mixed media artist Adrien Segal and computer scientist Stephen Guerin physicalize wildfire data in their respective fields: sculpture and real-time simulations.

Mixed media artist Adrien Segal works with federal wildfire data and other data sets creating beautiful wood or bronze sculptures that enable us to experience information with our senses. Her sculptures of wildfire data are the physicalization of wildfire spread, movement, intensity and duration that give us a concrete understanding of fire as an event or entity.

Computer scientist Stephen Guerin invented Simtable, a physical and augmented reality simulation projected onto a sand table that can be sculpted to conform to topographic or other data. Agent-based modeling software enables interaction with this data in real time. Guerin projects various data sets onto Simtable that allow firefighters to simulate different responses in order to understand their effect on fire movement, duration and intensity. Simtable

Adrien and Stephen’s work both draw from scientific data while also providing points of entry to physical experience that touch on phenomenology, complex systems, and other qualitative and quantitative ways of making sense of empirical data.