Mathematics and Art by Oscar Chacon

The only connection between humanities and science that I could see connecting strongly are art and math.  The art produced from the Renaissance and more recently Mandelbort’s fractals are clear examples of this.  It is clear that the relation between mathematics and art is inevitable.  There is something in attempting to capture the exactness of something in a painting that requires precise measurements produced by geometric calculations.  Thus, there was the creation of linear perspective by Brunelleschi.  I have taken a couple of art classes and have had some trouble grasping the concept of linear perspective. The painting, “The Last Supper” by Leonardo Da Vinci is an excellent example that produces very exact measurements and more importantly a beautiful piece of work highlighting an important religious event.

The influence of the suggestion of a fourth dimension has had an enduring effect on art, thus elevating the intimacy of the relations between math and art.  It is captivating to think about capturing or expressing motion or time.   The manner in which artist have captured the concept of the fourth dimension is far more easy in understanding in comparison to its counterpart scientific explanation. 

The fourth dimension is another aspect of sciences of which is greatly represent by science fiction. The fourth dimension as being time can be seen in the classic movie Back to the Future where the wacky character, Doc Brown invents a time machine that allows him to travel and forward through time.  This movie of course holds inspiration from H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, and many other versions modified from this version.  The idea of the fourth dimension as time is easier to understand rather than something spatial, which I think is open for philosophical interpretation.  Time is passing is easy to be conceived since we always experience it constantly.

The spatial conception of the fourth dimension is from what I understand harder to grasp.  This is perfect opportunity for artist to express this concept, and so they did.  This is greatly depicted in Star Wars and Star Trek where light speed is possible, and there is centered attention on the participation of humans in a spatial environment.  The movie series “The Matrix “ provides an interpretation of this other dimension not by time but of consciousness.  The Surrealist artists really capture this spacey quality and idea of a separate consciousness.  Salvador Dali’s “The Persistence of Memory” captures this concept very explicit while at the same time integrating time into his work.

            This work not only resonates the concept of merging spatial and time interpretations of the fourth dimension but also in a sort of joining of the sciences and humanities.  The spatial qualities of the fourth dimension represent the humanities since they are best represented by artist.  The time perspective of the fourth dimension is well the sciences since it is easily explained by physics, and such.

Oscar Chacon

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