Robert Horvitz – Quantum Symmetries

Robert Horvitz
Page from my Diary – Robert Horvitz

Since the early 70’s Robert Horvitz has been making complex system drawings using a single mark repetitively. These marks, many thousands of them, are placed on the paper according to a predefined algorithmic process, the end result – symmetrical crystal patchworks and complex patterns plotting the imagined form of a quantum space-time.

More clues come from Horvitz himself:

’I was immersed in Pythagorean fantasy, reading up on natural proportions such as Planck’s constant, Hubble’s constant, the gravitational constant. I read an essay on Planck’s constant written by Erwin Schrodinger that was so brilliant and vivid in its description of the geometry of elemental matter that I am still immersed in the subject. But since the quantum concepts of physics came into my head months after I had reduced my drawing to combinations of a single element, I can’t say I do what I do because science says reality does it that way…”

Horvitz site contains many other fascinating annotations to his drawings taken from his journal as well as other writings for both Artforum and The Whole Earth Catalogue. That his work lead him to ruminate on geometry and topology come as no surprise:

‘Very quickly I saw that grids could be replaced by more general structures – arrays of cells, polygon tilings and froths. Spirals could be floppy, as in Form is the Language of Time. Geometry not only could be but, according to modern science, MUST be elastic, topological, based on similarities rather than equalities. This opened my mind to more dynamic forms: flows, decays, rips, shards, close-packings, eruptions, etc. These were more richly allegorical than the Euclidean motifs I had been using.’

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