week 2\ Math and Art \ Akhil Rangaraj

I viewed math as an art even before taking this class. I have taken some art history classes before which have described the progression of the concept of mathematics in the arts, from the golden ratio to the science of perspectives. However, I didn’t realize the idea of the progression of spaces that happened after the initial discovery of perspective and ratios. Linda Henderson’s article was particularly enlightening with respect to the progression of art techniques and their relation to science. The paradigm shift induced in science by the theory of special and general relativity also reflected over into the world of art.

In lecture, we went over different mathematical ideas that are present in the arts, and indeed, nature itself. One of these is the concept of the golden ratio. The video on transforming a man into a woman using a simple template based off of ratios only underscored the ubiquity of mathematics. Furthermore, other examples, such as the behavior of stock markets fitting into a spiral was truly mind boggling. The lecture made mention of a Arabic scholar. Much of the architecture from the islamic world during this time period made use of geometric concepts and patterns (a style known as arabesque).

Looking over some of the links provided on the course website, my attention was immediately drawn to the description of the Mandelbrot set. Fractals were covered in class, but the description on the website included detailed mathematical information. I won’t pretend that I fully understood the details, but it was still impressive . The iterations the equations take through the complex planes seem to fit perfectly into the idea of a sort of fourth dimensional space. Not only this, but varying the parameters through the complex plane result in entirely different images. Finally, with regards to this article, all the mathematical mysteries behind this set of fractals have yet to be solved, which is quite amazing.

I searched the internet to find similar mathematical artworks similar to that of the mandlebrot set. I came across a website that used a different rendering method to generate a mandelbrot set that sort of resembles a seated Buddha.

This alternate rendering method contains the same mathematical elements as a standard Mandelbrot set, however the method in which they are presented are entirely different. I think this underscores the importance in how data is presented to us.

Buddhabrot: http://www.superliminal.com/fractals/bbrot/bbrot.htm

Animated: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBXqnN7vNzk&feature=related

A “buddhabrot” being rotated and manipulated in 4-d space: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ej3dj4×64k

Akhil Rangaraj

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