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Dagstuhl Seminar 24301

Art, Visual Illusions, and Data Visualization

( Jul 21 – Jul 26, 2024 )

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Art, visual illusions, and data science may appear as unrelated fields at first glance, but they are profoundly interconnected. Art has always served as a means of visual expression and communication. Optical illusions, with their ability to “deceive” the eye have fascinated audiences for centuries and have stimulated advances in perceptual science. Data science provides potent tools for analyzing and interpreting diverse datasets, offering insights and fresh perspectives on a wide range of subjects. When these three domains converge, the outcome can be truly groundbreaking. Contemporary artists are now harnessing data science to craft works that reveal concealed patterns and relationships within complex datasets, incorporating visual illusions to challenge the audience's perceptions. Data science researchers are increasingly embracing the visual arts to convey complex data and ideas in more accessible and engaging manners.

This multidisciplinary Dagstuhl Seminar offers a unique opportunity to bring together leading scientists, designers, and artists to explore the emerging perceptions that arise in art, visual illusions, and data visualization. The goal is to expand our intellectual horizons and enrich our perspectives. This seminar aims to push the limits of scientific and artistic creativity, inspiring new tools, and approaches for artistic creation, stimulating new methods for visualizing data, and inspiring a research roadmap for multidisciplinary research in this area.

The seminar will involve plenary discussions and group work, with invited talks focusing on art, perception, cognition, and data visualization at their intersections. Time will be allocated for organic question generation before forming focused groups. Initial days will establish research questions and projects through self-introductions and invited talks to bridge knowledge gaps. Working group topics will emerge both from organizers' ideas and participants' contributions. Progress will be shared among groups to encourage interaction, and participants will maintain accessible online records of their work for cross-group collaboration, aiding in final reports and future publications.

Two special events are planned for the seminar. Firstly, there will be daily "Lightning Talks" lasting 5-10 minutes each, featuring recent results or ideas from related fields. Participants are encouraged to prepare materials, and some talks will be scheduled in advance, with room for spontaneous contributions to keep the seminar dynamic. Additionally, an "Art and Illusion Demos" section will showcase artistic works and perceptual effects that can inspire data visualization, as well as visualization methods that can inspire artists and perceptual psychologists.

The fusion of art, optical illusions, and data science constitutes an intriguing and captivating research field. This seminar will help shape an understanding of its synergies and boundaries, and guide our ability to enhance its power, replicability, fairness, and reliability.

Copyright Claus-Christian Carbon, Christophe Hurter, Mauro Martino, and Bernice E. Rogowitz


  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Graphics
  • Human-Computer Interaction

  • Data visualization
  • perception
  • art
  • visual illusions
  • artificial intelligence