Making Visible the Invisible

Making Visible the Invisible

Visualizing the Collective Data Space: The Library As Data Exchange Center,
a public arts commission  for  the Seattle Central Library

also featured in November at the Whitney Artport:

“Making Visible the Invisible” is a commission for the Rem Koolhaas designed Seattle Public Library featuring the visualization of the circulation of books by the hour for the next ten years. The installation consists of 6 large LCD panels located on a glass wall horizontally behind the librarians’ main information desk in the Mixing Chamber, a large open 19,500 sq ft space dedicated to information retrieval and public accessible computer research. 

The visualizations consist of real-time animations generated by custom designed software using processed data based on the circulation of books and media being checked out of the library. The 4 visualizations include “Vital Statistics” which provides circulation statistical data, “Floating Titles” condenses the hourly checked-out items into a linear stream of titles floating by, “Dewey Dot Matrix Rain” separates Dewey coded items from others into falling or flashing actions, and “Keyword Map Attack” consisting of extruded keywords associated with the checked-out items. These are sequentially animated to be positioned at precise locations based on their associations to the library’s classification categories.  

Artist Biography
George Legrady has been creating interactive digital media installations and projects since the early 1990’s. He is best known for his projects focuses on the classification and visualization of data as in  “Pockets Full of Memories” (2001) commissioned by the Centre Pompidou, Paris; “Slippery Traces” (1996) published by the ZKM Center for Media & Technology Museum in Karlsruhe, Germany, and the award winning “Anecdoted Archive from the Cold War (1993). George Legrady is Professor of Digital Media in the Media Arts & Technology (MAT) Graduate program at the University of California, in Santa Barbara. ( Technical design and production was realized with Rama Hoetzlein (

For additional information, visit the project website at: