a study of invisible skeletons in future ideas
Metaphysical visualization:
The earliest data visualizations were likely physical: built by arranging stones or pebbles, and later, clay tokens. According to an eminent archaeologist (Schmandt-Besserat, 1999):

"Whereas words consist of immaterial sounds, the tokens were concrete, solid, tangible artifacts, which could be handled, arranged and rearranged at will. For instance, the tokens could be ordered in special columns according to types of merchandise, entries and expenditures; donors or recipients. The token system thus encouraged manipulating data by abstracting all possible variables. (Harth 1983. 19) […] No doubt patterning, the presentation of data in a particular configuration, was developed to highlight special items (Luria 1976. 20). "

Clay tokens suggest that physical objects were used to externalize information, support visual thinking and enhance cognition way before paper and writing were invented.

Jason Dodge, Above the Weather, 2007

Alberto Garutti, Filo lungo 1044 km: la distanza dalla mia casa a Milano alla Galleria di André Buchmann a Berlino / Line 1044 km long: the distance from my home in Milan to André Buchmann Galerie in Berlin, 2015

Ernesto Ballesteros, 40.000 km de hilo confinados a un espacio de arte, 2009

Helmut Smits,1847 meter, the distance from my house to my studio, 2010

Helmut Smits, 695 Hours, 2017

Alberto Garutti, Madonna, 2007

Francesco Arena, Genova (foto di gruppo), 2011

Emilio Chapela, Narcoconcreto, 2013

Felix Gonzales Torres, Untitled (Portrait of Ross in L.A.), 1991

Francesco Arena, Barra (da 8 a 9), 2011

Tom Friedman, 1000 Hours of Staring, 1992-1997

Jason Dodge, Sleeping in the Order of the Slowing of Time, 2011