List of Physical Visualizations
and Related Artifacts

1995 – Loren Madsen's Early Data Sculptures

CPI / cost of living  

Californian artist Loren Madsen has been making data sculptures since 1995 and still continues today. CPI / Cost of Living (left image) is the first of his series:

A lamination is one year. Vertical axis is the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for food; the horizontal axis is the CPI for gasoline + electricity. The rising center line is the CPI for housing. The 'snout' is the 1960's when housing and food were cheap. The bulge above the snout is 1973---OPEC, gasoline lines, etc. Thereafter the cost of most everything kept rising.

On the right image, 6,000,000,000 monkeys, a 20-meter long data sculpture built in 1999 showing the evolution in the world population from 10,000 BCE to today. Also see our entries on Loren Madsen's later work 2004 – Worry (Prayer) Beads2014 – District 5, 2018 – New Worry Beads, and our interview with him.


  1. Loren Madsen, CPI / cost of living. Click Next to browse his later creations.
  2. Also check out his slides Information as Art. They show many great examples of data art, mostly paintings but also a few data sculptures.

Added by: Loren Madsen & Pierre Dragicevic. Category: Passive physical visualization  Tags: art, CPI, data, data sculpture, housing, income, information