Week 6: maths and dirt

First, I want to thank everyone who presented their midterm last class. It was helpful for myself and other students (I’m sure). I was a little lost with my own project and after seeing everyone else’s I was able to complete mine and turn it in. I am excited to share it with you all. I really enjoyed the mathematical approach to art in showcasing the plastic ocean patch problem. It was a very educational experience and the graphs presented an eerie artistic edge. A good friend of mine majored in math here at UCLA and went to Yale for her Masters in Fine Arts (MFA). She has inspired me so much and the presentation using math reminded me of her. 

Mathematics is our tool for understanding the world and so is art. This year’s American Mathematical Society (AMS) theme for mathematics awareness month (April) was Mathematics and Art.

A 2012 NYC exhibit attempted to reconnect math and art, as they are two sides to the same coin. The exhibit showcased fractal islands and states called chaotic attractors that stems from chaos theory and the idea of the butterfly effect. It included images generated from mathematical formulas such as one determined by Benoit Mandelbrot.

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Source: Arstechnica (2012)

The ultimate mathematician artist was perhaps Leonardo da Vinci. His pieces were extraordinary and involved complexities including ideas of symmetry. Interestingly, his work has been under a new form of light lately, infrared. The infrared light has exposed hidden drawings and alternative versions of his sketches. An exhibition of Leonardo’s hidden work is set to hit the UK in 2019.

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Leonardo da Vinci: Hands for the Adoration of the Magi | Source: Artnet 

On the very first day of class, Professor Vesna expressed that there was no separation between science and art. This is very true. The walls that have been built between the arts and science are imaginary. I hope these walls are being broken down more and more. Classes such as this are educating us on how to blur those lines in our own lives. I really appreciated being reminded of this last class.

In addition, Maru’s exhibit was excellent. It was really great to experience her piece. Soil contains microbes that have antidepressant effects on the brain. Specifically, scientists believe Mycobacterium vaccae to have similar effects as Prozac on neurons and it is suspected to stimulate serotonin production. Maru’s exhibit allows one to confront the ground, face to face. The smell was incredible. Maru stated that it was refreshing, I agree. Even more, the smell was reviving. I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing the process. Having seen her five weeks ago in the process of forming this piece and the culmination of it was incredible.

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Source: Gardening, Know How

Works cited