In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content:

  • Highlights from the IEEE VIS 2014 Arts Program (VISAP’14): Part 1
  • Angus Forbes, Guest Editor and Fanny Chevalier, Guest Editor

This special section highlights presentations and artworks from the IEEE VIS Arts Program, or VISAP, which includes both an art exhibition and peer-reviewed papers sessions. Together they provide a forum that encourages dialogue about the relationship between aesthetics and visualization and for discussing the potential roles of artists, humanities scholars and designers in foundational research in information visualization. The IEEE VIS conference is the premier venue for advances in visualization, bringing together researchers and practitioners from academia, government and industry to explore their shared interests in tools, techniques and technology. VISAP, taking place concurrently within the larger IEEE VIS conference each year, provides an opportunity for artists and scholars to interact with these communities and to learn about the latest developments in visualization, while at the same time exposing visualization researchers to current topics and trends in the media arts.

The theme for VISAP’14 was Art+Interpretation. In the visualization community, significant emphasis has recently been placed on notions such as indicating uncertainty, accurately portraying data provenance and using narrative techniques to aid in transmitting information more effectively. Visualization systems not only provide a representation of data collections but also, wittingly or unwittingly, provide an interpretation of that data. Hence, potential areas of overlap between art and research practices are becoming more discernible, which raises the following key questions: Can artistic practice offer insight into thinking about the effective interpretability of complex data? Conversely, can visualization research offer quantifiable methods to artists seeking to investigate and represent cultural phenomena? Featured in this special section are a selection of the VISAP’14 artists and authors, each of whom approached the theme of Art+Interpretation in a compelling way, presenting novel work that investigates relationships between research and practice and emphasizes the interpretative or narrative aspects of scientific or cultural exploration.

VISAP’14 took place 9–14 November in Paris, France. It was co-chaired by Angus Forbes and Fanny Chevalier, with Lauren Thorson serving as design chair. More information about VISAP’14, including the exhibition catalog and the online proceedings, can be found at <>.

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