Saturday, August 15, 2009

Problems Encountered With Mathematical Poetry

Here is a perfect example of why mathematical poetry will have problems at least in the near future. In the blog entry copied bellow (and at this link) the author is complaining that the originator for a set of equations published in the brochure for the Biennale of Sydney is numerically illiterate. Curiously enough I think they should have said mathematically illiterate for numbers are not involved in these examples. That said, I am not sure that it is true that the originator was mathematically illiterate as well. The author claims that the expression, “Art = tyranny” is a false statement yet, historically there has been countless examples of art that has been inspired by or executed to express tyranny. A good example would be the artistic turmoil created around 1911 in Zurich Switzerland, for the entire Dada movement’s intention was to be tyrannical (Anti-Art)… as well as the copy cats that came after. Obviously the problem brought to question in this brochure is how one reads an equation. Is the equation to be read as poetry or science? Too many people think that an equation is automatically scientific in its expression. If this myopic attitude is left to continue, mathematics will be in denotative chains forever. When one reads poetry one searches for the proper context to give it meaning in relation to their life. One looks at the many facets of a poem to see what it is pointing to. “Art = tyranny” is a perfect expression for Dada, Punk or any other nihilist form or art.
Now to give our author the benefit of the doubt we could agree with him/her if the originator’s intention was scientific however, I can hardly see scientific intent in this expression even if it were meant to be.

It Don't Add Up
The Biennale of Sydney has put out an advance brochure that contains the two equations:

art + beauty + empathy = power

power – beauty – empathy = tyranny

Anyone with a primary school understanding of mathematics knows that if you solve these equations for the term ‘art’ you will discover that the claim being made is that

art = tyranny

If the Biennale of Sydney wants to communicate its ideas in the form of equations, perhaps it should run them by someone with a primary school level of numerical literacy before publishing them. Didn’t anyone in the accounts section twig that the Biennale of Sydney is spreading the message throughout the world that art equals tyranny???

Here is the mathematical solution:

art + beauty + empathy = power

art + empathy = power – beauty

art = power – beauty – empathy

given already that power – beauty – empathy = tyranny

then it follows

art = tyranny

Future Freedom

Here is an orthogonal space poem inspired by the mid east situation.

Paradigm Poems From Anand Bora

He are some good examples of the paradigm poem from Anand Bora.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bob Grumman

This page is to collect important links to the work of Bob Grumman

Mathemaku No 6a

Long division example

Mathemaku 6-12

Visit the National Gallery of Writing