More Math Art from the Bridges Conference Jyväskylä, Finland

There were so much interesting work at the Art Exhibition this year, is was difficult to choose just a few for my blog.

Bernhard Rietzl’s 3-D printing of “Nautilus Theodori” offers an elegant interpretation of a spiral developed by Theodorus of Cyrene in Greece in the 5th century BC.

The Spiral of Theodorus is constructed using right triangles. It begins with a central isosceles right triangle. The legs of this first triangle determine the length of each of the shorter legs for all triangles in the spiral. The second triangle uses the hypotenuse of the first triangle as its longer leg. The third triangle uses the hypotenuse of the second triangle as its longer leg. This process continues to create the spiral. Rietzl’s sculpture uses hollow 3-D wedges to create a shell-like vessel. The clean lines of the triangle give  the nautilus shell an element  of modern design.

Nathan Selikoff’s video “Audiograph” is produced in real time based on the interaction of environmental factors. The work is a projection of a clock. The hours and the minutes hands are fairly traditional lines using audio waves.

The seconds hand of the clock however, is a representation of the sound over the course of a minute. The sounds and voices in the gallery leave lines radiating out from the center of the clock. The changes in the volume and the tone of the environment create the visual variations.
Selloff’s clock makes the viewer think about both time and sound. Using computer technology and the mathematics of audiology it creates a work that  allows participants to change the visual output of the video within the time limitations of the movement of the seconds hand of a clock.

Susan Happersett

Math Art in Finland

Last week the Bridges organization held their annual conference in Jyväskylä, Finland. This international conference features lectures and workshops that highlight the connections between mathematics, music, art, architecture, education and culture. My favorite part of the five day event is the art exhibition. This year there was a wide range of styles, techniques and mediums on display. it is difficult to select only a few for this blog but I will try.


Sharol Nau

Sharol Nau repurposes unwanted hard cover books to create sculptures that contain parabolas. A parabola is a curve with reflective symmetry, in which each point on the curve is the same distance from a fixed focus point and a fixed line. The artist  carefully measures and folds each page to the common focus point. The resulting portable sculpture preserves the exterior shape of the book but creates a new visual story for the interior.



Nithikul Nimkulrat – “Black & White Striped Knots” – Knotted paper – 2015

Nithikul Nimkulrat hand-knots sculptures using paper string. Inspired by mathematical knot diagrams, the artist employs two colors of string to better indicate the positions of each stand within the knot structures.”Black & White Striped Knots”examines properties of knotted textiles.


Nithikul Nimkulrat – “Black & White Striped Knots” – Knotted paper – 2015 (Detail)

Looking closely at the work, the circular patterns emerge. Overlapping circles cross to form four equal arcs. This creates a series of monotone circles with the arcs of adjacent circles forming a pattern with order-4 rotational symmetry. Nimkulrat’s intricate structure is a wonderful exploration of the mathematical possibilities in textile and fiber art.

Susan Happersett