Terror and Aesthetics: Experiments in Data Visualization is situated at the intersection of contemporary data visualization practices, theories of information display, understandings of aesthetics and affect as implicated within the construction of subjectivity, and theoretical understandings of war and terror. It is fundamentally a provocation that aims to ‘do’ data visualization in a manner that accords with the subjective experience of the events from which that data is gathered. Specifically, Terror and Aesthetics takes the data of terrorism and war and asks how can entries in a spreadsheet be visualized in a manner that reflects the menace and sensory disorientation that undergirds those entries.

This site is divided into six parts:

1. Overview: introduces Terror and Aesthetics and provides a brief site map.
2. Rationale: explicates the theoretical grounding of this project and explains the tools and processes chosen to instantiate it.
3. Explore the Data: provides this project’s actual visualizations in all of their in-progress glory.
4. Environmental Scan: discusses related visualizations that represent nodes in the conceptualization of this project.
5. Review of Practice: considers the project’s strengths and failures and offers thoughts on how to improve in future iterations.
6. Works Cited: Provides a bibliography as well as links to my sources.


I am deeply grateful to Hannah Aizenman, Patrick Smyth, and my wonderful professors and classmates in Digital Praxis who together made this semester lovely and inspiring.

Ashleigh Cassemere-Stanfield