Illustration for article titled The Monolithic Sculptures of Data Viz Whiz Edward Tufte

Edward Tufte is a data viz pioneer, well-known for making complex information easy to parse. But the man is also fascinated with manipulating the physical world; he has transformed the rolling hills and wooded terrain of Hogpen Hill Farms in rural Connecticut into a 234-acre sculpture garden that's like a modern-day Stonehenge—if those pre-historic folks had access to I-beams, Airstream trailers, and Richard Feynman diagrams.

Illustration for article titled The Monolithic Sculptures of Data Viz Whiz Edward Tufte
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Illustration for article titled The Monolithic Sculptures of Data Viz Whiz Edward Tufte

Here, Tufte experiments with massive, elemental constructions on a scale that completely dwarfs visitors (not to mention the adorable dog featured in a lot of the pics on his site).

Illustration for article titled The Monolithic Sculptures of Data Viz Whiz Edward Tufte

While it's tough not to be awed by the sheer size of the stones—sourced on-site, natch—his descriptions of the work are focused as much on the negative space formed between the balancing megaliths as the shape of the objects themselves.

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Illustration for article titled The Monolithic Sculptures of Data Viz Whiz Edward Tufte
Illustration for article titled The Monolithic Sculptures of Data Viz Whiz Edward Tufte
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For some, he encourages visitors to remain silent while they observe the unmoving masses, which adds to their meditative nature and general imposing presence.

Illustration for article titled The Monolithic Sculptures of Data Viz Whiz Edward Tufte
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These aren't necessarily meant to be understood or read in a way that, say, a graph might be; and, while building up on the landscape is not a new artistic release for Tufte, who has an innate gift for beautifying charts and documents, it is an important one.

Illustration for article titled The Monolithic Sculptures of Data Viz Whiz Edward Tufte
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Illustration for article titled The Monolithic Sculptures of Data Viz Whiz Edward Tufte

"Seeing and producing in real space and time is complex and luscious compared to staring at impoverished representations of real things on the glowing flat rectangle," he wrote in an email to Gizmodo. "The most important interface is at the eye-brain system and real-world light, and at the hand that touches the real world. The forever interface is the thinking eye and hand."

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Infrared images (#2, #5, #7) by Frederick K. Orkin; all other images by Edward Tufte.

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