The program

The VIS Arts Program (VISAP) is a forum where visualization researchers, designers, and media artists come together to discuss topics in data visualization around an annual theme, intended to be relevant to art, design, and academic research communities. It is the biggest associated event in the IEEE VIS conference, and its main goal is to foster new thinking, discussion, and collaboration between fields.

VISAP welcomes a wide range of submissions, including interactive artworks, design projects, novel visualization tools and applications, art-science or artist-in-lab projects, evaluations of data visualizations, and philosophical meditations on the intersections between art and research. These can either be submitted to a paper track, or to an exhibition track (read details below). Accepted works will be published on the official VISAP website and in a dedicated exhibition catalogue, and will be indexed in the IEEE Xplore digital library.

The theme

The theme for VISAP’20 is Enchantment. We invite submissions that enchant in all of the different meanings of the word from its root (“to sing into”) to the myriad of meanings it has acquired since.

To enchant is to stop the mind for a moment, in surprise and curiosity, and connect with the extraordinary in the everyday. Enchantment breaks expectations and speaks to old memories or ancient truths in a way that makes us look again and more deeply. Some have suggested that modernity has stripped the world of enchantment because of its bias towards explaining, deciphering, stating, and categorizing. Indeed, many visualizations are designed around these principles. With this theme we place emphasis on our capacity to wonder as the doorway to curiosity, research, and engagement, and on the notion that enchantment can be something that we aim for when creating visualizations.

Data visualization is by its very nature striving to represent and translate one form of information into another to understand and influence. If the data itself is seen as objective, the visualization aims to preserve this quality while appealing to human senses which are prone to conditioned biases. Within this year’s theme of enchantment we invite works in art and design which investigate how enchantment can be used to entice a first look and further create a sustained curiosity about what is being represented. How does one design for enchantment? Where does the intersection of objectivity and wonder lie? How has beauty been implicated in visualization, implicitly or explicitly? How will a new wave of visualizations incorporate the tension between the attention economy and the need to inform precisely and prompt action? Can one ever have too much art? What if the aim is not to precisely inform but to mirror an emotional state about the source of the data? How is success measured?

VISAP’20 welcomes works in all enchanting media and mixtures thereof – including interactive data visualization, 3D printed sculptures, VR/AR, digital fabrications, sound works, writing, print, video, and other multimedia forms.

Submission details

Submissions can either be made to:

1. A paper track: Extended abstract with a 10 page limit, including references;

2. An exhibition track:

a. 2 page description of the exhibit, accompanied by any relevant visuals and/or sound files; or
b. Pictorials (annotated portfolios) with a 16 page limit.

All submissions are due by June 1, 2020, using the Precision Conference System (PCS).
Read the Submission Instructions for details.

Note: VISAP aims to foster discussions around the relationships between the design process and the final artifact. We encourage all artists and designers to showcase and describe the process of research creation when producing visualizations or data-driven art pieces.

Accepted submissions to the paper track will be presented during one of two paper sessions, while accepted exhibits and pictorials will be displayed during an opening reception, and throughout the conference in a specially allocated exhibition space. They may also be offered an opportunity to give a presentation in the paper session.

We look forward to your participation!

Erik Brunvand, Yoon Chung Han, Carmen Hull and Maria Lantin
VISAP’20 General Chairs