Victorian Eyes Exhibition Overview


The Victorian Eyes Exhibition was on display at the University of Wisconsin, Memorial Library in March 2014. It also appeared at the Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery in October and early November 2013, and the Wisconsin Science Festival, September 26-29, 2013.

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"Victorian Eyes” is a traveling art exhibition that examines nineteenth-century British literature from literary, statistical, and artistic vantages. With the modern deluge of media and information, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer amounts of data available. With “Victorian Eyes,” we aim to inspire both specialists within our fields and nonspecialists to think about how the intersections of literature, statistics, and art can help us “see,” analyze, and explain large amounts of data. While our fields may seem like an eclectic grouping, all deal in varying modes with perspective, which is the unifying theme this exhibition is designed to explore. One intriguing literary and statistical finding (based on word frequencies, words lengths, unique words, etc.) functions as the muse for each art piece in our exhibition. Each art piece also features a QR code that links to a page on this website where more detailed information about the literary, statistical, and artistic perspectives about the results can be found.

In addition to the exhibition, we held an afternoon seminar and reception in partnership with the Humanities Research Bridge. The seminar, Data in the Humanities Plus Art (DH+A) , questioned how art can contribute to the analysis of humanities data. The controversy surrounding the digital humanities involves fear of taking the “human” out of humanities. Can the combination of literature, statistics, and art alleviate these concerns and make the approaches to and value in computational methods more accessible? Or, is this line of inquiry the equivalent of parlor tricks and little more? Can computational approaches give texts an opportunity to speak to us with a clearer voice than we have ever heard, which art can then (re-)translate or make accessible to a wider audience? The event generated a lively discussion among a diverse audience of science and humanities scholars and the public at large. If you were unable to join us, please view the recording of the DH+A event.

Please contact us if you would like to learn more about the exhibition


Links to exhibition art pages:

The Great Unread: Untold Numbers Wood sculpture, walnut, 14.5” x 17.25” x 2.5”

His and Hers Inkwells: 1500 Sculpture, brass, plastic 10” x 6” x 3”

Frankenstein's Frequencies: 123 Framed print 23” x 11”

"Little" "Time" in a Century: .05% Framed print 20” x 16”

Predicting Dickens: 7-12 Sculpture, black walnut and printed paper 50” x 20” x 26”

Word Length Landscapes: 4.7 4.2 3.7 Framed print 23” x 11”

Roll of the Topics: 5 10 20 Wood sculpture, walnut, cherry, 26” x 15” x 13”

Stop List: ∞ Lace sculpture with embroidery, 8” x 24”


CompCouture, the team:

Catherine DeRose, Ph.D. is the Manager of the Yale Digital Humanities Lab. Her work focuses on nineteenth-century British literature, digital studies, and print culture. For more information, please visit: Catherine's webpage

Carrie Roy, Ph.D. is coordinator for the Humanities Research Bridge and through her research and art explores physical and digital "interfaces" as they relate to cultural ideas and how they serve to order and convey information. Her interests span ethnography, technology, and art.

Fred Boehm, M.D., is a Ph.D. student in Statistics and a postdoctoral fellow at the Molecular and Environmental Toxicology Center. He develops methods for high-dimensional statistical inference with applications to genomics, cancer biology, and text mining.