H3 Index

Vaughan Wozniak-O'Connor

Opening 28th October, 6PM (via Facebook livestream)

Exhibition Continues 29th October- 14th November 2020 

‘H3 Index’ probes the conceptual and practical parallels between drawing and data visualisation. The culminating work for a PhD. in Media Art, ‘H3 Index’ explores the indeterminate aspects of data visualisation— how uncertainty and error creeps into seemingly infallible data, through the accumulation of technological processes. This practice-based research began as an attempt to record and visualise biometric data from a Fitbit as emotional maps— charting changes in heartrate overlaid onto GPS data.

However the data produced by these objective technologies was erratic in nature. While GPS data is prized for accuracy, its more uncertain qualities are more commonly experienced— glitches from interference with the built environment or electromagnetism that guide us along errant trajectories. The biometric sensors of wearable devices are similarly fallible, producing false readings based on sweat levels, movement and skin-colour.

‘H3 Index’ considers this interference as a productive quality, inserting the wavering qualities of the handmade into data visualisation artworks. In doing so, this exhibition emphasizes the embodied potential of data visualisation — as inherently tied to sweating, labouring bodies and not solely pristine and abstract information. The exhibited works explore the visual and conceptual parallels to drawing. By creating real-time mechanical drawing, ‘H3 Index’ emphasizes the performative, exploratory and expressive potential of data visualisation, in parallel to dominant navigational and analytical applications.

This exhibition was made possible with the assistance, generosity and expertise of the Design Futures Lab and Advanced Manufacturing Lab, UNSW Built Environment.

Image credit: 'NAVSTAR. 2020. Interactive Drawing. Photo courtesy Verge Gallery and Zan Wimberley'


Vaughan W O'Connor is an artists, researcher and PhD student at UNSW Art & Design & UNSW Built Environment.  His research explores the intersection of handcrafting, digital fabrication and computational design. Other interests include holography, biometric and geospatial data visualisation.  Previously, he has held positions at UNSW Galleries, Firstdraft Gallery, Blacktown Arts Centre and Casula Powerhouse, spanning curatorial, exhibition design and programming roles.  He has exhibited extensively locally and undertaken international projects at Holocenter (USA), BKZ Studios (Germany) and Museu da Cidade de Aveiro (Portugal).


H3 Index Room Sheet (opens in new window)

Image: 'multicam study', 2020. Digital video and mechanical drawing on timber. By Vaughan Wozniak-O'Connor and Richard Blackwell.

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