segunda-feira, 9 de novembro de 2009
the institute for figuring:
"Through the simple drawing of a circle in sand we open the door to a realm where figures disport themselves in play. Dividing this circle by a cross we begin to invoke the relations inherent in its form. From such beginnings emerges the game of mathematics.
If mathematics is a language of pattern its structures may be seen as the verses of a formal, yet fantastical poetics. Across the globe people have delighted in the harmonies of this language and the patterns discovered therein. These are the songs that figures sing amongst themselves.
Mathematical forms are but one kind of figure. There are many others. Long before the development of algebra, Indian culture anticipated fractals in paisley patterns while Islamic mosaicists explored the symmetries inherent in a plane with their unparalleled command of tiling. Throughout history humans have developed a vast variety of methods for investigating and constructing different types of figures - what we might term figurative technologies - from weaving, knotting and “string figuring,” to origami, tiling, perspectival drawing, and holography.
Nature too inclines towards a figurative poetics, materializing throughout its domain exquisite formal structures - from Fibonacci numbers found in the pattern of a pineapple’s scales, to the miniature geodesic spheres of carbon “buckyball” molecules, and the logarithmic spirals in a galaxy’s rotating arms. Likewise, culture abounds with structured forms. In myths and mandalas we find relations described by projective geometry, which some philosophers also ascribe to structures of the human mind.
By classifying such figures and recognizing their diverse manifestations hitherto unsuspected correspondences are revealed.
The Institute For Figuring is an educational organization dedicated to enhancing the public understanding of figures and figuring techniques. From the physics of snowflakes and the hyperbolic geometry of sea slugs, to the mathematics of paper folding and graphical models of the human mind, the Institute takes as its purview a complex ecology of figuring."