Vienna artist Michael Marcovici created two physical visualizations that convey a single numerical value. The first one shows one billion dollar - the most expensive piece of art ever made, according to him (although these were actually miniature bills). The second one called Rolex Time Sand shows an entire lifetime worth of hourglass sand.
For another single-datum physical visualization see our entry Ceramic Poppies to Commemorate Fallen Soldiers in WW1, and our entry on Chris Burden's submarines (1989).
- Michael Marcovici via visualizing.org. The artpieces are undated but an online search bring back to 2009.
- Also see Fanny Chevalier and al's infovis article on visually conveying extreme magnitudes and unfamiliar units.