| MATH & ART MONTH:
Public Dialogues with Artists and Mathematicians
It is a rare opportunity and a great pleasure
to bring together these amazing individuals to have conversations with
us on the subject of math and art. Please come join our dialogue. Speakers
will give brief presentations of their work, answer questions, then lead
a discussion on math and art. All talks are at Shift
Studio Gallery and begin at 3pm unless otherwise specified.
Everyone is welcome!
Clicking on each speaker's name will take
you to their website.
is a mathematician at the University of Washington where he uses
topological methods in the study of graph homomorphisms. He likes to apply
geometrical/topological tools and techniques in the study of discrete
structures, an example of which are secondary polytopes, which he explained
to me lucidly during one long interactive math session at a Fremont café.
He will be relocating to Berlin for a postdoctoral fellowship at the Technische
Universität Berlin. When Anton is not doing math, he takes stunning
photographs and performs keyboard and clarinet in a local band.
In addition to meticulous 2D work, Eric creates phenomenal abstract
sculptures that project themselves from the wall. Some sculptural pieces
consist of curved forms connected by networks of lines, which suggest
the explosion of mathematical surfaces or parts of a manifold. This deconstruction
of space is a very natural mathematical procedure. Eric's work was recently
exhibited at 4Culture in Seattle.
does research in topological and probabilistic combinatorics,
discrete geometry, and graph theory. A firm believer in the intersection
of math and art, he has collaborated on mathematical art projects with
fellow mathematician Zack Treisman and others. He will leave the University
of Washington this summer for a postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University.
grew up in a household of scientists, whose influence can be
seen in her attractive and subtle art work. In her words: "There
is great beauty in the way that science strives to organize and order
the world. Speaking to this organization and structure, my work is a non-literal
use of the imagery of science, using layers of diagrams from engineering
and physics to create surface and depth." The various permutations
of mathematical objects that come about from Amanda's intuitive approach
bear an uncanny resemblance to the process of mathematical inquiry. She
recently showed at Davidson Gallery in Seattle.
is an algebraic geometer who does research in higher dimensional
birational geometry. His enthusiasm and support for the Demonstrations
Project have been instrumental. Our collaboration, "Shafarevich's
Conjecture," went through three versions before he felt it was an
accurate description of the mathematics. So now if you ask him: "Hey
man, what was your thesis about?", he won't give you a nebulous answer
about the shape of the universe and black holes, but point to the drawing
of our collaboration. His understanding and appreciation of the process
of art is enhanced by his being married to the wonderfully inventive visual
artist Timea Tihanyi. Together they will present a talk about the similarities
of the creative process in the two apparently divergent disciplines of
math and art.
creates majestic paintings that are empirical studies of the world around
her. These explorations of space and position possess the mathematical
quality of considering the essential underlying structure. Margie's work
was recently on show at the Greg Kucera Gallery in Seattle.
grew up in Spokane, Washington and is lead singer and guitarist
for 100, a hardcore Seattle Indie band. A deeply thoughtful
and spiritual person, Corey brings these qualities to his music. When
he's not on tour or catching the next big wave on his longboard, he is
active in his community and is dedicated to working with prison inmates.
Intrigued by the possibility of mathematics in his music, he intends to
give us an experimental performance of math rock.
is a differential geometer at the University of Washington.
His current research is in the area of mathematical general relativity,
which considers the fundamental nature of physical space. He and a couple
other mathematicians have discovered ways to construct wormholes between
any two points of an Einsteinian space while maintaining its structure.
Our collaboration over a period of several weeks involved a brisk crash
course in general relativity and partial differential equations and was
a very rewarding experience. Wormhole Construction on Sigma T
attempts to show that what appears to be a topological proposition is
really an involved analytical problem in partial differential equations;
such considerations were at the heart of the recent proof of the celebrated
is inspired by current scientific inquiry in the fields of physics,
astronomy, and biology. Her brilliant and colorful prints, explorations
of light, space, and motion, are filled with mathematical objects, which
reveal the underlying mathematics of science. "Ambiguities of space
and scale, of the virtual and the actual, and the relationship between
the micro and the macro are important aspects of the work." Barbara's
prints can be seen at Davidson Gallery in Seattle.
Before becoming an artist, Timea was trained as a medical doctor. This
background is apparent in her art, which explores at once the attractiveness
and repulsiveness of the physical body through the careful selection of
materials based on physical characteristics that recall its anatomy and
physiology. Timea's works, which are often large sculptural installations,
now and then have mathematical features that are perhaps related to her
interest "in the historical periods of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment
when artistic and scientific interest turned toward the understanding
and exploring of our physical being [...]." She will present with
her husband mathematician Sándor Kovács on the process of
is a mathematician, outdoorsman, cyclist, martial artist, and traveler,
among other things. He also occasionally shows signs of budding as a mathematical
artist - in which he is inspired by his friendship with Lun-Yi. Zack is
currently finishing up a postdoctoral fellowship at the Tata Institute
for Fundamental Research in Mumbai, India, where generations of young
algebraic geometers have gone for inspiration. He will share some musings
on viewing geometry as an interplay between mapmaking and its inverse
process, and how this relates to his study of rational curves.
grew up in the household of a kinetic sculptor in Paris and New York,
where he was saturated with art especially modern abstract art. By the
time he was in high school, Lun-Yi realized that there was something missing
in abstract art. In order to fill this void, he resolved to study abstraction,
which meant a serious study of theoretical math. He plans to talk about
how math has become one of the principal means by which he understands
the world and also how it is an inspiration for his art.
Schedule of Talks:
May 5 Lun-Yi Tsai
Life, Art, and Mathematics: The Effort to
May 12 Margie Livingston and Dan Pollack
Conceptions of Space
May 19 Amanda Knowles and Zack Treisman
Mapmaking and Vice Versa
May 24 @ 7pm Timea Tihanyi and Sándor Kovács
Processes in Artistic and Mathematical Creation
May 25 @ 8pm Corey Passons, rock musician
An Experimental Performance of Math Rock
May 26 Barbara Robertson and Anton Dochtermann
Geometry and the Imagination
June 2 Eric Eley and Matt Kahle
Space and Aperiodicity in Math and Art