This week’s lecture by Professor Vesna focused on the impact that math and art have had on each other throughout history and present day. I have always had an interest in how almost everything in the world could be explained with some sort of mathematical combination. How data could be mapped out and manipulated to offer many insights to the world, like how Amazon has a feature that sends a customer items automatically based on past transactions. Another example I’ve been interested in is how any class of student’s grades could be represented accurately by a normal distribution curve. I have never looked too deeply into these ideas, but this week’s content offered some really interesting insights into how closely art and math complement each other.
Linda Dalrymple Henderson’s “The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidian Geometry in Modern Art,” explains how the idea of a fourth dimension was a huge impact among artists in the first three decades of the twentieth century. It astonishes me how these artists represented and argued for this idea that still holds many questions today. How do you represent the fourth dimension in an artistic piece? Many fantastic artworks tackle this abstract framework, like this artwork of Jesus by Salvador Dali called, "Corpus Hypercubes." Dali puts Jesus on a hypercube cross, fusing dimensional space science with religion. It seems paradoxical at first to think of artists representing the fourth dimension, as art is supposed to minimize our third dimensional world onto a lesser two dimensional medium. One example that resonated with me was that of Dominguez who used a lion to explain his idea that time is the primary definition of the fourth dimension, putting the lion into a manipulative frame that encompasses its life from birth to death, creating a super lion.
I was fairly familiar with the Mandelbrot set from high school math classes, but never did we analyze it from an artistic perspective. It’s amazing how math can be seen anywhere in the world, especially in the Mandelbrot set, a fairly simple mathematical formula (z = z^2 + c), containing an infinite amount of geometric shapes. Theoretically, if the Mandelbrot set is infinite, then every shape and pattern in the universe could be contained in this one simple set of variables that make up an abstract piece of art.
Henderson, Linda Dalrymple. "The Fourth Dimension and Non-Euclidean Geometry in Modern Art: Conclusion." Leonardo 17.3 (1984): 205-10. Web. 10 Apr. 2016.
Vesna, Victoria. “Mathematics.” Lecture. CoLE DESMA 9. Web. <https://cole.uconline.edu/~UCLA-201209-12F-DESMA-9-1#l=Week-2-Assignment/id4287887>.
"The Fourth Dimension in Painting: Cubism and Futurism." The Peacocks Tail. N.p., 2011. Web. 25 June 2016.
"Unveiling the Mandelbrot Set." Plus.maths.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 25 June 2016.
"Mandelbrot Set." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 25 June 2016.