Bridges 2008, Netherlands

Toroidal Helical Sweep – George Hart

Recently back from a sojourn in Holland were for the most part I attended the Bridges 2008 conference on the intersection between maths and art, music, crafts & architecture. The annually held conference was rich with a very diverse range of lectures on topics such as:

Mathematical visualization, mathematics and music, computer generated art, symmetry Structures, origami, mathematics and architecture, Tessellations and Tilings, aesthetical connections between mathematics and humanities, geometric Art and geometries in quilting.

I was invited to give a lecture on my real-time video signal feedback work regarding tessellation and symmetry and present ideas compiled in a paper which was included in the conference’s proceedings.

This year’s conference was held in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, in honour of one of it’s most famous sons, MC Escher – this year marks the 110th anniversary of the artists’ birth. It seemed fitting to have a special set of Escher day lectures since Escher himself was continually in an oscillating dichotomy between arts and maths. Incorporating extremely complex maths in his artworks, such as hyperbolic tessellations, without any real solid mathematical understanding.

Aside from the lectures, there was large exhibition of Mathematical Art in the location of the conference. Works ranged from Op-art-esque space-filling curves, 3d prints of hyperbolic tessellations, laser cut fractal tessellations through to module based sculptures utilising Fibonacci numbers as well as a polished steel sculpture of the Lorenz Attractor.

Spread around the surrounding countryside in Gothic and Romanesque churches there was a Bridges & Passages exhibition of works by artists who have come from abstract mathematical backgrounds. Artists included were Gerard Caris, Istvan Orosz, Rinus Roelofs, Koos Verhoeff, Yvonne Kracht, Oscar Reutersvard, Ulrich Mikloweit and Elvira Wersche.

I expect to devote some time writing about these artist’s works in the not so distant future.

Full Flickr set HERE

Related: Exotic Mathematical Surfaces

2 Responses to “Bridges 2008, Netherlands”

  1. Nathan Selikoff writes:

    Hey Paul,

    Great to finally meet you at the conference after following dataisnature for quite some time. Amy and I had a great time hanging out with you, hearing your presentation, and enjoying the diversity of people and ideas at Bridges.

    Until next time,

  2. paul writes:

    Likewise Nathan,

    Was a great conference and an inspiring group of people for sure.

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