Transpositions [TP]

This research project investigates the possibility of generating new auditory and visual forms based on the analysis and mathematical transformation of scientific data. In addition, the project studies whether and how these new forms are of scientific significance by asking the collaborating researchers to interpret the artistic outputs. By remaining true to the data while employing an artistic working method and, thus, by combining scientific and artistic values, the project contributes to the conceptual development of a space for research that is shared between art and science. This, however, implies that during the project both scientists and artists will be challenged to work in ways that are unfamiliar to them, either through confrontation with complex artistic interpretations of data or through exposure to very specific scientific working methods. On a meta-level, the project will report on the types of interactions that are deemed to be of value to either the artists, the scientists or both.


At present, scientists use a variety of sonification and visualization procedures to analyse and communicate their findings. For artists, those representations are often of little artistic value because they are geared towards a transparent communication of the data that creates little space for artistic interventions. Conversely, by foregrounding aesthetic effects, the expanding field of artistic data sonification and visualization runs the risk of producing works of art that only superficially relate back to the scientific research from which the data originated. While giving the arts an important role in the communication of scientific activity, the artistic exploration of scientific data may thus add very little to the research itself. Given the ever-increasing amount and importance of data representations, it is of particular importance that artists become engaged with their fabrication and to identify how, in spite of their very different constitution, aesthetic and epistemic research aims may support each other.



Four case studies from different scientific fields provide data to be transposed by the artists into artistic outputs, which are in turn analysed by the scientists. The artists have established practices in music composition and visual art, respectively, and have been collaborating very productively for the last 6 years. Given the transdisciplinary nature of the artistic collaboration, it is possible to investigate issues of intermediality not only between art and science but also from within the arts.

Artistic Data Exploration

Gerhard Eckel, Michael Schwab, David Pirrò


A cooperation between the University of Music and Performing Arts Graz and the University of Applied Arts Vienna. Funded by the Austrian Science Fund FWF, PEEK, AR 257-G21, 04/2014-12/2017.

Case Studies

Pre-study - Rebody

Rebody was a video and installation piece in which the captured motion of a dancer was transformed into a dynamic drawing that informed a musical composition.

Case Study I - Lansner

Computational Neuroscience and Neurocomputing research group at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm.

Case Study II - Deep Inelastic Scattering 

Common Muon and Proton Apparatus for Structure and Spectroscopy (COMPASS) experiment at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), Geneva.

Case Study III - Cosmology

Beecroft Institute of Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, Department of Physics, University of Oxford. 

Case Study IV - DNA

Science for Life Laboratory, a Swedish a national center for molecular biosciences with focus on health and environmental research.

University of Music and Performing Arts

Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics

University of Applied Arts

Austrian Science Fund




Event 1: Contribution to the conference Digital Abstraction at the Interface between Electronic Media Arts and Data Visualization, Jacobs University, Bremen/Germany, May 7-8 2015.

Event 2: Imagining Data. Seminar at the Lansner Lab with the artists Gerhard Eckel, Michael Schwab, and David Pirrò. KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm/Sweden, June 10 2015.


Event 3: Performance of Hypercolumns, piece for 15 instruments based on data from the Case Study I at the ZKM(Zentrum für Kunst und Medien) in the context of the festival GLOBALE: Tangible Sound September 24 2015.


Event 4: DA TA Rush. Transpositon not Exhibition. A research event by Gerhard Eckel, Michael Schwab, David Pirrò and Artemi-Maria Gioti. Angewandte Innovation Laboratory, Vienna/Austria, May 13-17 2016.


Event 5: Transpositions Lab. Exploring DA TA rush with interventions by Paulo de Assis and Lucia D'Errico leasing to Rasch15-22. Angewandte Innovation Laboratory, Vienna/Austria, May 14-16 2016.

Event 6: Symposium. Is a meaningful dialogue possible between research practices in the arts and in science and technology? A one day symposium organised by philosopher Cecile Malaspina. Angewandte Innovation Laboratory, Vienna/Austria, May 17 2016.


Event 7: Seminar. Transpositions Artistic Data Exploration at the COMPASS Analysis Meeting at CERN, October 13 2016.

Event 8: Exhibition. DA TA rush Graz. In the context of TRANS - Denken in Klängen at Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten. Graz/Austria, November 12–25 2016.

Event 9: Lecture. Transpositions [TP] Artistic Data Exploration a talk by David Pirrò in the frame of the conference "A Cosmos of Data", at the Arts Santa Mònica Centre in Barcelona, November 17 2016.

Event 10: Imperfect Reconstruction is an Exhibition and an Audio Visual Installation at the ESC medien kust labor, in Graz. November 25 2016–January 17 2017. 


Event 11: Interpolations is a workshop and a micro-symposium that aims at bringing together researchers and artists in order to identify their different approaches to and perspectives on the algorithmic. The workshop took place on the December 2 2016 in the context of the Exhibition "Imperfect Reconstruction" in the ESC medien kust labor in Graz, Austria.


Event 12: Michael Schwab (Ed.), Transpositions. Aesthetico-Epistemic Operators in Artistic Research 1, Orpheus Institute/Leuven University Press, in preparation.


Event 13: DA TA. Art catalogue.


Event 14: Transpositions: From Science to Art (and back). Final research event. Stockholm, October 4–6 2017.

Event 15: Exploring Formats, Enriching Pracice. Research event. Graz, October 12-13 2018.

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