This essay elaborates a field of general aesthetic considerations relevant to the sonification of data. A set of dialectical tropes are introduced to define the possibility space for organised sonified data: data-in-itself and the listener-for-itself; cognitive support and sabotage; and the Peircean triad of rheme–dicisign–argument. Taken together, these three dialectical parameters elaborate a conceptual space in which strategies can be sought for mapping acoustic parameters to data features, data structure and sonic transformations, all with respect to listener reception. A work-in-progress is discussed in connection with this general aesthetic field, and considerations of the aesthetic space are applied to several works. Finally, the notion of data verité is explored in connection to ‘big data’ and issues related to the transformation of data into information generally.
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