Margarita Benitez and Markus Vogl's data viz sculptures turn sports into art, and they come in gold.
You might have spent Monday nursing your Super Bowl party hangover, but one artist duo spent their Monday more productively: visualizing and 3D printing data from the game into a sculpture.
It’s the latest addition to the series VERSUS 0.02 [gridiron], by media artists and professors Margarita Benitez and Markus Vogl. The artists have 3D printed sculptures using data from every Super Bowl game ever, using a method of transmuting yards traveled into geometric arcs.
“The sculptures analyze the game play by play and visualize the distance the ball traveled regardless of type of play,” the artists explain on their website.
The sculptures are comprised of a series of arcs on a flat plate. Each layer represents one play, the arc’s size determined by the distance the ball traveled during that play. Each team is assigned one side of the sculpture, and the kickoff is represented by the arc at the very front.
Data from all 50 Super Bowl games visualized in 3D
As a result, the sculptures take on a rhythmic, wave-like quality when viewed from above, tracing the path of the ball back and forth across the field. The dynamic sculptures take around five days to print, as seen in the timelapse video below.
Part of a series of “sonically interpreted sports events”, the project follows VS 0.01 [eight-ball], for which Benitez and Vogl turned the movements of billiards into a sound composition.
Seen together, the plastic sculptures look a bit like abstract architectural models; but the artists have also created an online store where football fans can have their favorite Super Bowl game printed out in a variety of materials, from cost-effective sandstone, to 24k gold-plated steel. A perfect decorative object for the households of sports fanatics, art lovers, and data nerds alike.