Log24

Sunday, November 19, 2017

Nightmare for Midsummer

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:36 PM

In memory of a Brooklyn art figure who reportedly killed himself
on November 9, 2017 —

From an obituary linked to here  in a post, "Information from the Middle 
of the Night
," at 2:02 AM ET on June 23, 2017 —

"In 1976, Ms. DeAk, with Mr. Robinson, Sol LeWitt and
Lucy Lippard, helped found Printed Matter, a publisher
and distributor of artists’ books."

"A version of this article appears in print on June 23, 2017,
on Page B15 of the New York edition with the headline:
Edit DeAk, a Champion of Artists Outside the Mainstream,
Dies at 68."

Related material —

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Center

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:20 PM

Rosalind Krauss in 1978

"To get inside the systems of this work,
whether LeWitt's or Judd's or Morris's,
is precisely to enter
a world without a center,
a world of substitutions and transpositions
nowhere legitimated by the revelations
of a transcendental subject. This is the strength
of this work, its seriousness, and its claim to modernity." 

Wikipedia

"The center of
the quaternion group,
Q8 = {1, −1, i, −i, j, −j, k, −k} ,
is {1, −1}."

Illustration from a post of Feb. 3,  2011

http://www.log24.com/log/pix11/110203-Scholia.jpg.

In Principio:

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 12:00 PM

Red October  continues …

See also Molloy in this  journal.

Related art  theory —

Geometry of the 4×4 Square 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Truly Tasteless* Tulips

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:29 PM

Excerpt from the above story

"The project could also be a new frontier for Mr. Koons.
'It’s superconceptual,' said Judith Benhamou-Huet,
a French art critic and blogger, in that 'he’s giving
the concept but not the realization.' She compared
the approach to that of Sol LeWitt, who sold wall drawings
that buyers then executed on their own."

Rachel Donadio

See also the previous post and Rota on Beauty.

* A reference to Truly Tasteless Jokes , by Blanche Knott
  (Book 1 of 11, Ballantine Books paperback, May 1985, page 50).

All-Spark Notes

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 1:55 PM

(Continued)

"For years, the AllSpark rested, sitting dormant
like a giant, useless art installation."

— Vinnie Mancuso at Collider.com yesterday

Related material —

Dormant cube

IMAGE- Britannica 11th edition on the symmetry axes and planes of the cube

Giant, useless art installation —

Sol LeWitt at MASS MoCA.  See also LeWitt in this journal.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Search for the Lost Theorem

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 12:00 PM

The three Solomons of the previous post (LeWitt,
Marcus, and Golomb) suggest the three figures
-1, 0, and 1  symbols for the three elements
of the Galois field GF(3).  This in turn suggests a
Search for The Lost Theorem. Some cross-cultural
context:  The First of May, 2010.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Three Solomons

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 11:00 PM

Earlier posts have dealt with Solomon Marcus and Solomon Golomb,
both of whom died this year — Marcus on Saint Patrick's Day, and
Golomb on Orthodox Easter Sunday. This suggests a review of
Solomon LeWitt, who died on Catholic Easter Sunday, 2007.

A quote from LeWitt indicates the depth of the word "conceptual"
in his approach to "conceptual art."

From Sol LeWitt: A Retrospective , edited by Gary Garrels, Yale University Press, 2000, p. 376:

THE SQUARE AND THE CUBE
by Sol LeWitt

"The best that can be said for either the square or the cube is that they are relatively uninteresting in themselves. Being basic representations of two- and three-dimensional form, they lack the expressive force of other more interesting forms and shapes. They are standard and universally recognized, no initiation being required of the viewer; it is immediately evident that a square is a square and a cube a cube. Released from the necessity of being significant in themselves, they can be better used as grammatical devices from which the work may proceed."

"Reprinted from Lucy R. Lippard et al ., “Homage to the Square,” Art in America  55, No. 4 (July-August 1967): 54. (LeWitt’s contribution was originally untitled.)"

See also the Cullinane models of some small Galois spaces

 Some small Galois spaces (the Cullinane models)

Friday, May 16, 2014

Way to Go

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 3:17 PM

Or: Death Edit

IMAGE- On Elaine Sturtevant, an artist who reportedly died on May 7, 2014

Log24 on the reported date of Sturtevant’s death:

Conceptual Art

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:01 AM

Yesterday’s online New York Times  has the following quote:

“The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.”
— Sol LeWitt

For instance, some conceptual art not  by LeWitt:

Diamond Theory Roulette (Feb. 2, 2014).

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Conceptual Art

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 2:01 AM

Yesterday’s online New York Times  has the following quote:

“The idea becomes a machine that makes the art.”
— Sol LeWitt

For instance, some conceptual art not  by LeWitt:

Diamond Theory Roulette (Feb. 2, 2014).

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Ten Years After

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 8:00 AM

Rock guitarist Alvin Lee, a founder of
the band Ten Years After , died
on March 6, 2013 (Michelangelo's
birthday). In his memory, a figure
from a post Ten Years Before —

Plato's reported motto for his Academy:
"Let no one ignorant of geometry enter."

For visual commentary by an artist ignorant
of geometry, see a work by Sol LeWitt.

For verbal commentary by an art critic  ignorant
of geometry, see a review of LeWitt by
Robert Hughes—

"A Beauty Really Bare" (TIME, Feb. 6, 2001).

See also Ten Years Group and Four Gods.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Conceptual Art

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:09 PM

Quotes from the Bremen site
http://dada.compart-bremen.de/ 
 

IMAGE- Steven H. Cullinane, diamond theorem, from 'Diamond Theory,' Computer Graphics and Art, Vol. 2 No. 1, Feb. 1977, pp. 5-7

" 'compArt | center of excellence digital art' is a project
at the University of Bremen, Germany. It is dedicated
to research and development in computing, design,
and teaching. It is supported by Rudolf Augstein Stiftung,
the University of Bremen, and Karin und Uwe Hollweg Stiftung."

See also Stiftung in this journal.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Minimalist Whirl

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 6:29 PM

See St. Bridget's Cross

on the Web and in this journal.

Related material—

(Click images to enlarge.)

From Tablet  magazine on St. Bridget's Day, 2012—

From Tablet  magazine today—

Of greater secular  interest—

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Insane Symmetry

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 11:02 AM

Continued from yesterday's Church Diamond and from Dec. 17's Fare Thee Well —

The San Francisco Examiner  last year
on New Year's Eve —
 
Entertainment

Discover the modern art of Amish quilts

By: Leslie Katz 12/31/09 1:00 AM

Arts editor

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101228-AmishQuilt.jpg

Quilts made by Amish women in Pennsylvania,
such as this traditional center diamond,
reveal the makers’ keen sense of color and design.

Household handicrafts and heirlooms made by American women seen as precursors to modern art is one underlying thesis of “Amish Abstractions: Quilts from the Collection of Faith and Stephen Brown,” a provocative exhibit on view at the de Young Museum through June.

Curated by Jill D’Alessandro of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the show features about 50 full-size and crib quilts made between 1880 and 1940 in Pennsylvania and the Midwest during what experts consider the apex of Amish quilt-making production.

Faith and Stephen Brown, Bay Area residents who began collecting quilts in the 1970s after seeing one in a shop window in Chicago and being bowled over by its bold design, say their continued passion for the quilts as art is in part because they’re so reminiscent of paintings by modern masters like Mark Rothko, Josef Albers, Sol LeWitt and Ellsworth Kelly — but the fabric masterpieces came first.

“A happy visual coincidence” is how the Browns and D’Alessandro define the connection, pointing to the brilliance in color theory, sophisticated palettes and complex geometry that characterize both the quilts and paintings.

“There’s an insane symmetry  to these quilts,” says D’Alessandro….

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner .

The festive nature of the date of the above item, New Year's Eve, suggests Stephen King's

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

and also a (mis)quotation from a photographer's weblog— 

"Art, being bartender, is never drunk."

— Quotation from Peter Viereck misattributed to Randall Jarrell in
   Art as Bartender and the Golden Gate.

By a different photographer —

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101228-ShiningJack.jpg

See also…

http://www.log24.com/log/pix10B/101228-NurserySchool.jpg

We may imagine the bartender above played by Louis Sullivan.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thursday June 11, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 7:11 PM

Geometry for Jews

(continued from Michelangelo's birthday, 2003)

The 4x4 square grid

"Discuss the geometry underlying the above picture."

Log24, March 6, 2003

Abstraction and the Holocaust  (Mark Godfrey, Yale University Press, 2007) describes one approach to such a discussion: Bochner "took a photograph of a new arrangement of blocks, cut it up, reprinted it as a negative, and arranged the four corners in every possible configuration using the serial principles of rotation and reversal to make Sixteen Isomorphs (Negative) of 1967, which he later illustrated alongside works by Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt and Eva Hesse in his Artforum article 'The Serial Attitude.' [December 1967, pp. 28-33]" Bochner's picture of "every possible configuration"–

Bochner's 'Sixteen Isomorphs' (or: 'Eight Isomorphs Short of a Load')

Compare with the 24 figures in Frame Tales
(Log24, Nov. 10, 2008) and in Theme and Variations.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday November 30, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:31 AM
Abstraction and Faith
 

From Sol LeWitt: A Retrospective, edited by Gary Garrels, Yale University Press, 2000, p. 376:

THE SQUARE AND THE CUBE
by Sol LeWitt

The best that can be said for either the square or the cube is that they are relatively uninteresting in themselves. Being basic representations of two- and three-dimensional form, they lack the expressive force of other more interesting forms and shapes. They are standard and universally recognized, no initiation being required of the viewer; it is immediately evident that a square is a square and a cube a cube. Released from the necessity of being significant in themselves, they can be better used as grammatical devices from which the work may proceed.

Reprinted from Lucy R. Lippard et al., "Homage to the Square," Art in America 55, No. 4 (July-August 1967): 54. (LeWitt's contribution was originally untitled.)

A vulgarized version
of LeWitt's remarks
appears on a webpage of
the National Gallery of Art.

Today's Sermon

"Closing the Circle on Abstract Art"

On Kirk Varnedoe's National Gallery lectures in 2003 (Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, Sunday, May 18, 2003):

"Varnedoe's lectures were ultimately about faith, about his faith in the power of abstraction, and abstraction as a kind of anti-religious faith in itself."

For related remarks on abstraction perhaps less easily vulgarized than those of LeWitt, see Finite Geometry of the Square and Cube.

For the relation of this sort of geometry to faith, see All Hallows' Eve, 2006.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Sunday April 8, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: — m759 @ 11:09 PM
Easter Night's online
New York Times,
front page, top center:

Death of Sol LeWitt

Related material:

ART WARS

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Sunday June 26, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:26 PM

Thanks for the Memory

As I write, Susannah McCorkle is singing “Thanks for the Memory.”

Below are some photos from the website of Paul Winchell, ventriloquist, inventor, theologian.  Winchell died in his sleep at 82 early on Friday, June 24, 2005.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05A/050626-LucyAndHope.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Paul Winchell seems to have
posted a topic for discussion:

“God is a mathematical equation
   beyond our understanding.”

Related material:

From Friday’s entry
Cross by Sol LeWitt
(Fifteen Etchings, 1973):

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05A/050626-Cross.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

“No bridge reaches God, except one…
God’s Bridge: The Cross.”
— Billy Graham Evangelistic Association,
quoted in Friday’s entry.

This cross may, of course, also
be interpreted as panes of a window
  — see Lucy photo above —
or as a plus sign — see “a mathematical
equation beyond our understanding”
in, for instance, Algebraic Geometry,
by Robin Hartshorne. For a theological
citation of Hartshorne’s work, see
Midsummer Eve’s Dream
(June 23, 1995).

Friday, May 27, 2005

Friday May 27, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 12:25 PM
Drama of the Diagonal,
Part Deux

Wednesday’s entry The Turning discussed a work by Roger Cooke.  Cooke presents a

“fanciful story (based on Plato’s dialogue Meno).”

The History of Mathematics is the title of the Cooke book.

Associated Press thought for today:

“History is not, of course, a cookbook offering pretested recipes. It teaches by analogy, not by maxims. It can illuminate the consequences of actions in comparable situations, yet each generation must discover for itself what situations are in fact comparable.”
 — Henry Kissinger (whose birthday is today)

For Henry Kissinger on his birthday:
a link to Geometry for Jews.

This link suggests a search for material
on the art of Sol LeWitt, which leads to
an article by Barry Cipra,
The “Sol LeWitt” Puzzle:
A Problem in 16 Squares
(ps),
a discussion of a 4×4 array
of square linear designs.
  Cipra says that

“If you like, there are three symmetry groups lurking within the LeWitt puzzle:  the rotation/reflection group of order 8, a toroidal group of order 16, and an ‘existential’* group of order 16.  The first group is the most obvious.  The third, once you see it, is also obvious.”

* Jean-Paul Sartre,
  Being and Nothingness,
  Philosophical Library, 1956
  [reference by Cipra]

For another famous group lurking near, if not within, a 4×4 array, click on Kissinger’s birthday link above.

Kissinger’s remark (above) on analogy suggests the following analogy to the previous entry’s (Drama of the Diagonal) figure:
 

  The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/021126-diagonH2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Logos Alogos II:
Horizon

This figure in turn, together with Cipra’s reference to Sartre, suggests the following excerpts (via Amazon.com)–

From Sartre’s Being and Nothingness, translated by Hazel E. Barnes, 1993 Washington Square Press reprint edition:

1. on Page 51:
“He makes himself known to himself from the other side of the world and he looks from the horizon toward himself to recover his inner being.  Man is ‘a being of distances.'”
2. on Page 154:
“… impossible, for the for-itself attained by the realization of the Possible will make itself be as for-itself–that is, with another horizon of possibilities.  Hence the constant disappointment which accompanies repletion, the famous: ‘Is it only this?’….”
3. on Page 155:
“… end of the desires.  But the possible repletion appears as a non-positional correlate of the non-thetic self-consciousness on the horizon of the  glass-in-the-midst-of-the-world.”
4. on Page 158:
“…  it is in time that my possibilities appear on the horizon of the world which they make mine.  If, then, human reality is itself apprehended as temporal….”
5. on Page 180:
“… else time is an illusion and chronology disguises a strictly logical order of  deducibility.  If the future is pre-outlined on the horizon of the world, this can be only by a being which is its own future; that is, which is to come….”
6. on Page 186:
“…  It appears on the horizon to announce to me what I am from the standpoint of what I shall be.”
7. on Page 332:
“… the boat or the yacht to be overtaken, and the entire world (spectators, performance, etc.) which is profiled on the horizon.  It is on the common ground of this co-existence that the abrupt revelation of my ‘being-unto-death’….”
8. on Page 359:
“… eyes as objects which manifest the look.  The Other can not even be the object aimed at emptily at the horizon of my being for the Other.”
9. on Page 392:
“… defending and against which he was leaning as against a wail, suddenly opens fan-wise and becomes the foreground, the welcoming horizon toward which he is fleeing for refuge.”
10.  on Page 502:
“… desires her in so far as this sleep appears on the ground of consciousness. Consciousness therefore remains always at the horizon of the desired body; it makes the meaning and the unity of the body.”
11.  on Page 506:
“… itself body in order to appropriate the Other’s body apprehended as an organic totality in situation with consciousness on the horizon— what then is the meaning of desire?”
12.  on Page 661:
“I was already outlining an interpretation of his reply; I transported myself already to the four corners of the horizon, ready to return from there to Pierre in order to understand him.”
13.  on Page 754:
“Thus to the extent that I appear to myself as creating objects by the sole relation of appropriation, these objects are myself.  The pen and the pipe, the clothing, the desk, the house– are myself.  The totality of my possessions reflects the totality of my being.  I am what I have.  It is I myself which I touch in this cup, in this trinket.  This mountain which I climb is myself to the extent that I conquer it; and when I am at its summit, which I have ‘achieved’ at the cost of this same effort, when I attain this magnificent view of the valley and the surrounding peaks, then I am the view; the panorama is myself dilated to the horizon, for it exists only through me, only for me.”

Illustration of the
last horizon remark:

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050527-CipraLogo.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050527-CIPRAview.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
 
From CIPRA – Slovenia,
the Institute for the
Protection of the Alps

For more on the horizon, being, and nothingness, see

Friday, April 15, 2005

Friday April 15, 2005

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 7:11 AM
Leonardo Day

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050415-Google.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

In memory of Leonardo and of Chen Yifei (previous entry), a link to the Sino-Judaic Institute’s review of Chen’s film “Escape to Shanghai” —

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050415-PointsEast.gif” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.
Click on the above for details.

Related material
from Log24.net:


Saturday, December 27, 2003  10:21 PM

Toy

“If little else, the brain is an educational toy.  While it may be a frustrating plaything — one whose finer points recede just when you think you are mastering them — it is nonetheless perpetually fascinating, frequently surprising, occasionally rewarding, and it comes already assembled; you don’t have to put it together on Christmas morning.

The problem with possessing such an engaging toy is that other people want to play with it, too.  Sometimes they’d rather play with yours than theirs.  Or they object if you play with yours in a different manner from the way they play with theirs.  The result is, a few games out of a toy department of possibilities are universally and endlessly repeated.  If you don’t play some people’s game, they say that you have ‘lost your marbles,’ not recognizing that,

while Chinese checkers is indeed a fine pastime, a person may also play dominoes, chess, strip poker, tiddlywinks, drop-the-soap or Russian roulette with his brain.

One brain game that is widely, if poorly, played is a gimmick called ‘rational thought.’ “

— Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Sol LeWitt
June 12, 1969
:

“I took the number twenty-four and there’s twenty-four ways of expressing the numbers one, two, three, four.  And I assigned one kind of line to one, one to two, one to three, and one to four.  One was a vertical line, two was a horizontal line, three was diagonal left to right, and four was diagonal right to left.  These are the basic kind of directions that lines can take…. the absolute ways that lines can be drawn.   And I drew these things as parallel lines very close to one another in boxes.  And then there was a system of changing them so that within twenty-four pages there were different arrangements of actually sixteen squares, four sets of four.  Everything was based on four.  So this was kind of a… more of a… less of a rational… I mean, it gets into the whole idea of methodology.”

Yes, it does.
See Art Wars, Poetry’s Bones, and Time Fold.


Friday, December 26, 2003  7:59 PM

ART WARS, St. Stephen’s Day:

The Magdalene Code

Got The Da Vinci Code for Xmas.

From page 262:

When Langdon had first seen The Little Mermaid, he had actually gasped aloud when he noticed that the painting in Ariel’s underwater home was none other than seventeenth-century artist Georges de la Tour’s The Penitent Magdalene — a famous homage to the banished Mary Magdalene — fitting decor considering the movie turned out to be a ninety-minute collage of blatant symbolic references to the lost sanctity of Isis, Eve, Pisces the fish goddess, and, repeatedly, Mary Magdalene.

Related Log24 material —

December 21, 2002:

A Maiden’s Prayer

The Da Vinci Code, pages 445-446:

“The blade and chalice?” Marie asked.  “What exactly do they look like?”

Langdon sensed she was toying with him, but he played along, quickly describing the symbols.

A look of vague recollection crossed her face.  “Ah, yes, of course.  The blade represents all that is masculine.  I believe it is drawn like this, no?”  Using her index finger, she traced a shape on her palm.

“Yes,” Langdon said.  Marie had drawn the less common “closed” form of the blade, although Langdon had seen the symbol portrayed both ways.

“And the inverse,” she said, drawing again upon her palm, “is the chalice, which represents the feminine.”

“Correct,” Langdon said….

… Marie turned on the lights and pointed….

“There you are, Mr. Langdon.  The blade and chalice.”….

“But that’s the Star of Dav–“

Langdon stopped short, mute with amazement as it dawned on him.

The blade and chalice.

Fused as one.

The Star of David… the perfect union of male and female… Solomon’s Seal… marking the Holy of Holies, where the male and female deities — Yahweh and Shekinah — were thought to dwell.

Related Log24 material —

May 25, 2003:
Star Wars.
 


Concluding remark of April 15, 2005:
For a more serious approach to portraits of
redheads, see Chen Yifei’s work.

The image “http://www.log24.com/log/pix05/050415-TheDuet-ChenYifei.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

Saturday, December 27, 2003

Saturday December 27, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 10:21 PM

Toy

“If little else, the brain is an educational toy.  While it may be a frustrating plaything — one whose finer points recede just when you think you are mastering them — it is nonetheless perpetually fascinating, frequently surprising, occasionally rewarding, and it comes already assembled; you don’t have to put it together on Christmas morning.

The problem with possessing such an engaging toy is that other people want to play with it, too.  Sometimes they’d rather play with yours than theirs.  Or they object if you play with yours in a different manner from the way they play with theirs.  The result is, a few games out of a toy department of possibilities are universally and endlessly repeated.  If you don’t play some people’s game, they say that you have ‘lost your marbles,’ not recognizing that,

while Chinese checkers is indeed a fine pastime, a person may also play dominoes, chess, strip poker, tiddlywinks, drop-the-soap or Russian roulette with his brain.

One brain game that is widely, if poorly, played is a gimmick called ‘rational thought.’ “

— Tom Robbins, Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Sol LeWitt
June 12, 1969
:

“I took the number twenty-four and there’s twenty-four ways of expressing the numbers one, two, three, four.  And I assigned one kind of line to one, one to two, one to three, and one to four.  One was a vertical line, two was a horizontal line, three was diagonal left to right, and four was diagonal right to left.  These are the basic kind of directions that lines can take…. the absolute ways that lines can be drawn.   And I drew these things as parallel lines very close to one another in boxes.  And then there was a system of changing them so that within twenty-four pages there were different arrangements of actually sixteen squares, four sets of four.  Everything was based on four.  So this was kind of a… more of a… less of a rational… I mean, it gets into the whole idea of methodology.”

Yes, it does.
See Art Wars, Poetry’s Bones, and Time Fold.

Saturday, April 5, 2003

Saturday April 5, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — m759 @ 9:49 AM

Art Wars:
Mathematics and the
Emperor’s New Art

From Maureen Dowd’s New York Times column of June 9, 2002: 

“The shape of the government is not as important as the policy of the government. If he makes the policy aggressive and pre-emptive, the president can conduct the war on terror from the National Gallery of Art.”

NY Times, April 5, 2003:
U.S. Tanks Move Into Center of Baghdad
See also today’s
op-ed piece
by Patton’s grandson.

Meanwhile, at the Washington Post, another example of great determination and strength of character:

Donald Coxeter Dies: Leader in Geometry

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, April 5, 2003

“Donald Coxeter, 96, a mathematician who was one of the 20th century’s foremost specialists in geometry and a man of great determination and strength of character as well, died March 31 at his home in Toronto.”

From another Coxeter obituary:

In the Second World War, Coxeter was asked by the American government to work in Washington as a code-breaker. He accepted, but then backed out, partly because of his pacifist views and partly for aesthetic reasons: “The work didn’t really appeal to me,” he explained; “it was a different sort of mathematics.”

For a differing account of how geometry is related to code-breaking, see the “Singer 7-cycle” link in yesterday’s entry, “The Eight,” of 3:33 PM.  This leads to a site titled

An Introduction to the
Applications of Geometry in Cryptography
.

“Now I have precisely the right instrument, at precisely the right moment of history, in exactly the right place.”

 — “Patton,”
the film

Quod erat
demonstrandum
.


Added Sunday, April 6, 2003, 3:17 PM:

The New York Times Magazine of April 6
continues this Art Wars theme.


                 (Cover typography revised)

The military nature of our Art Wars theme appears in the Times’s choice of words for its cover headline: “The Greatest Generation.” (This headline appears in the paper, but not the Internet, version.)

Some remarks in today’s Times Magazine article seem especially relevant to my journal entry for Michelangelo’s birthday, March 6.

“…Conceptualism — suddenly art could be nothing more than an idea….

LeWitt moved between his syntax of geometric sculptures and mental propositions for images: concepts he wrote on paper that could be realized by him or someone else or not at all.  Physical things are perishable.  Ideas need not be.”

— Michael Kimmelman, chief art critic of the New York Times, April 6, 2003

Compare this with a mathematician’s aesthetics:

“A mathematician, like a painter or a poet, is a maker of patterns.  If his patterns are more permanent than theirs, it is because they are made with ideas.”

— G. H. Hardy, A Mathematician’s Apology (1940), reprinted 1969, Cambridge U. Press, p. 84 

It seems clear from these two quotations that the real conceptual art is mathematics and that Kimmelman is peddling the emperor’s new clothes.

Thursday, March 6, 2003

Thursday March 6, 2003

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , — m759 @ 2:35 AM

ART WARS:

Geometry for Jews

Today is Michelangelo's birthday.

Those who prefer the Sistine Chapel to the Rothko Chapel may invite their Jewish friends to answer the following essay question:

Discuss the geometry underlying the above picture.  How is this geometry related to the work of Jewish artist Sol LeWitt? How is it related to the work of Aryan artist Ernst Witt?  How is it related to the Griess "Monster" sporadic simple group whose elements number 

808 017 424 794 512 875 886 459 904 961 710 757 005 754 368 000 000 000?

Some background:

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