Welcome To Data Artifact!
Exploring how Data and Art Meet
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What is data art and why is it important?


Data is now everywhere. From the websites we visit, the cars we drive and phones we carry, data is increasingly being used to make decisions and shape the world around you.


How we move through the world, and the data trail that is left behind, tells a story about who we are and where we are going as a people.


Making this data transparent and accessible requires using the creativity to find new ways of exploring data in a user-focused way. Art is a perfect way to innovate that interaction.


The exploration of how visual arts and data intersect is not a linear one. Access to The Generator has been invaluable. To make this work I utilized Geospatial software QGIS and ArcGIS, data exploration with Python and Jupter Labs, 3D modeling software Blender, Photoshop and Illustrator to creating printing files, and a variety of data sources.

  • Contours

    The State of Vermont has a large Open Data portal, including contours at varing intervals for the entire state. My first explorations with laser cutter was taking this line data and creating small keychain items in wood and acrylic

  • Geospatial Data

    Depicting information that is not topography was interesting to explore. Material and the size limiations of the laser printer introduce legibility problems but adding color to emphasize trends, in this case the cocentric rings around burlington of median age fluctuations.

  • County Tiles

    Play is a really good way to learn, so I created a tile for each county in Vermont and made the size reflect the county population. On each various statistics were engraved to enable people to physically sort the tiles and see how different population centers were affected.

  • Rivers

    Lidar is a surveying method that measures distance to a target by illuminating the target with pulsed laser light and measuring the reflected pulses with a sensor with astonishing accuracy. Vermont has scans of the entire state but I was fascinated in how the past pathes of the rivers could be seen in the ground height.

  • Activity Tracking

    My Garmin smartwatch can measure an incredible amount of data for my runs and bike rides. Using watercolors and the laser cutter I experimented with layering the routes from monthes of exercise on top of each other.

  • 3D Modeling

    3D printing is a fascinating to quickly prototype an idea, my interest was taking the Lidar from the previous step, importing it into Blender to create a digital model for eventual printing. In this case Camel's Hump is represented with the Long Trail lmarked out on the ridge.

  • Lake Champlain Depth

    As someone who spends most of the summer on the lake, I utilized GIS (Geospatial Information Systems) software to take depth soundings and convert them into elevation models and contours which, with a multi-step process, I could burn into a piece of wood with pretty extreme 3D relief.

  • Race Routes

    The Burlington City Marathon happens here every year and I was interested in taking all the skills thus learned and using them to make a 3D model of this year's route to make an interesting and potentially marketable object.

  • Further
    to Come!


A collection of various projects from the last year.


Topography Objects

Data Tiles

County and Other Data

Lake Champlain

Modeling Depth


Lidar and the Past

3D Modeling

Creating Microlandscapes

Activity Tracking

Depicting What We Do


Data Artifact is an exploration of how the world of data and art intersect in visual storytelling.

Kendall Fortney

Data Artist

Kendall is a Data Artist with a degree in Fine Arts from Vassar College with years of experience working at a variety of tech-focused companies. Self-taught in R and Python for data analytics and visualization, Kendall has been exploring data as a Data Innovation Fellow for the State of Vermont and helping as an organizer and presenter for local groups about technology.

The merging of fine art, design skill and data analysis is the natural progression of his work and reflects the importance of creativity approaches even in extremely technical fields.


Software and Data Sources for these projects.