Visualization has an increasingly important role to play in scientific research. Moreover, visualization has a special role to play within artificial life as a result of the informal status of its key explananda: life and complexity. Both are poorly defined but apparently identifiable via raw inspection. Here we concentrate on how visualization techniques might allow us to move beyond this situation by facilitating increased understanding of the relationships between an ALife system’s (low-level) composition and organization and its (high-level) behavior. We briefly review the use of visualization within artificial life, and point to some future developments represented by the articles collected within this special issue.