30 May 2006

Mark Lombardi

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about images that represent information, as described yesterday. First it was the images of html code, and then it was the discussion around it that jogged my memory of Mark Lombardi, who is probably best described as an independent scholar/artist who committed suicide a few years ago. Anyway, his art is more clearly connected with the present discussion than any other artist I know of.

Here’s a detail from one of his images:

It is called George W. Bush, Harken Energy, and Jackson Stephens, ca. 1979-90 (5th version), 1999.

Lombardi has made a visual representation of the people, events, places, with lines that indicate the transference of money, litigation, sales of property, meetings, etc.

Here’s a statement of his (from this site)about how he creates these webs of information:
Working from syndicated news items and other published accounts, I begin each drawing by compiling large amounts of information about a specific bank, financial group or set of individuals. After a careful review of the literature I then condense the essential points into an assortment of notations and other brief statements of fact, out of which an image begins to emerge.

Like the little applet that transformed (what to me is) html gobbledygook into something I could grasp more readily, Lombardi has similarly reduced a huge amount of data into something much more instantly available. That, it seems, is precisely the point. Lombardi began arranging information into forms like these as a note-taking tool while researching topics for a book he was writing. As these arrangements became more complicated, his interest turned to them as an end in itself.


Dad said...

Hmmmmm....You are just doing this in your attempts to confuse me while you and Matthew try to take over the world. Which one of you is "Pinky" and which one is "The Brain"? Or is part of your ploy to keep even that identification a mystery while the plot unfolds?

Bonnie said...

This reminds me of an exercise we did in my White Bison addictions class. It was called Mind Mapping. It starts with one basic idea and then the connections start to flow and grow all around it. It is very free form and is a great tool for gaining insight to problems that seem immovable.