Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Artist Gives Data a Global Dimension

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Artist Gives Data a Global Dimension

Article excerpt

For artist, designer, journalist, and sometimes educator Ingo Guenther, disillusion and innovation are inextricably linked.

Frustrated by what he sees as the news media's sensationalist perspectives and art's sometimes idealistic and impractical approach to effecting social change, Mr. Guenther was prompted to devise an innovative medium to remedy his disenchantment.

The result is "World Processor," a series of custom-made acrylic globes with individually manipulated surfaces that convey a diverse range of information and data in a colorful way. The project combines elements of journalism and art to provide a thought- provoking perspective on global issues ranging from nuclear testing sites to international trade.

"I want to make things in a way that people like to look at them," says Guenther in a telephone interview from New York City. "It's sort of the antithesis to data sets or pages' worth of numbers, which are hard for people to read or translate. I make it a little more accessible."

Guenther purchases his custom acrylic globes from several small mapmaking companies in the United States.It takes him and his two assistants about a week to research, design, and apply the vinyl graphics to each 12-inch globe. While he draws from a myriad of sources, Guenther says he relies most heavily on United Nations reports, encyclopedias, and commercial reports.

"I like the idea of the globes being some kind of background reference for those that see a news story unfold on TV or in print," Guenther said in an e-mail. …

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