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"Science" journal, 1880-1906

William Huber, Tara Zepel, Lev Manovich. 2010.





All issues of Science magazine from the beginning of publication in 1880 to 1906.

Our data set uses every 3rd page of every issue.

Number of pages: 9801.










The pages are arranged in the order of publication (left to right, top to bottom).



At first, Science includes photographs and hand crafted illustrations. These images are the legitimate parts of the process of creating scientific knowledge. However within about 10 years they disappear almost completely. The only images that are now generally permitted are graphs: illustration and photo documentation are increasingly treated as a way of communicating the work of science, rather than belonging to the work of science itself.


In the last decades of the 19th century scientists make new discoveries that are translated into key technologies of modern society (electricity, wireless communication, etc.) These technologies and the models that inform them are less about understanding the visible and increasingly about the knowledge of, and the explanatory power of, the invisible. Visualization of 9801 pages of Science reflects this increasing importance of the invisible, and the relegation of the visual to explanation.


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Taken on May 21, 2010