What is a diagram? How do maps, charts, plans, DNA sequencing, weather mapping, computer glitches and Internet cartography blur the boundaries between ‘art’ and ‘information’? This issue of Drain presents artworks, thought experiments, essays and reviews that explore how data has been weaved into artworks and in the other direction, artworks into data. How are surveillance, spying, data collection explored by artists? Does Google Earth problematize artists’ relationships with space and mapping? Is there an algorithmic aesthetics? What is at the source of the renewed artistic interest in Cybernetics? How do artistic practices appropriate information-age interfaces: first-person shooter or roving perspective; satellite pictures or overhead images, disposable data or the notion of a mathematical sublime? Can the diagram revamp the essence of the image, its relationship to the multiplicity, to mutating media platforms, to screen interface, to the virtual and actual of the image? How is it possible to reveal the image’s relationship to binary code and coding, scientific visualization, maps of the universe, data navigation, the algorithmic posthuman? Under the umbrella term of the diagrammatic, Drain seeks to question definitions of ‘art’ and ‘information’ by examining their creative interconnections.


Diagrams: Art as Information - Jakub Zdebik

Organized Time: Temporal Representations and the Possibilities of the Database - Ryan Stec
Drawing a Line: Towards a History of Diagrams - Jessica Law
Beyond Beyond Locative Media: Art, Data and the Politics of Place - Jessica Thompson

Thought Experiments
Hawk Eye View: Shifting the ‘Surveillant’ Gaze - Stéphanie McKnight (Stéfy)
A Collaborative Diagram - matthews AND allen

Topological Diagrams - Gregory Minissale
Thoughts on Susan Giles’ Scenic Overlook - Allison Peters Quinn

Art Projects
Orders of Magnitude - Adrian Göllner
Drawing Directions In an Age of the Ready-made Map - Rebecca Noone
Untitled - Hannah Karsen
Use(ful/less) Schematics - Maxwell Hyett

This issue was led and edited by Jakub Zdebik.

I would like to thank Celina Jeffery for inviting me to edit Drain; Avantika Bawa for her steadfast organizational help; Emily Igawa for the swift upload of this issue; and, of course, Zeina Hamod for her indefatigable and diligent assistance with the editing process.

Icon image - Rebecca Noone, The Directions I Collected, 2017. Pen on Paper. Permission of the Artist.
Diagram - Vol. 15:1, 2018