This article examines the history of sonification in sound art, focusing on the role that data play in influencing artistic creation and aesthetic experience. The author discusses sonified data artworks that go beyond the simple representation of information and that offer critiques of what Horkheimer and Adorno described as the dehumanizing notion of equivalence at the heart of the bureaucratic, capitalist economy. Concluding with a discussion of his installation Seismology as Metaphor for Empathy (2012), the author suggests that representing data through sound can engender powerful affective responses to the cold abstraction of information.

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