Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bob Grumman expresses what he calls True Mathematical Poetry


The following is a comment by Bob Grumman on my delineations for four types of mathematical poetry; with his vote that the only real kind of mathematical poetry is what I call Equational Poetry. I think his argument is pretty good so I am posting here so that everyone can see it.
I also agree with his assessment about number poetry … to me the beauty of number poetry IS the beauty of mathematics. Sure it has rhythm in it but so does virtually everything that the mind can remember due to memory's existence being dependent of repetition. And sure it can be visualized but does visualizing something make it art? Once again I will express that I think art is an expression of culture and ‘Pure Mathematics’ is cultureless.


VizPo-Central has left a new comment on your post "Four Types of Mathematical Poetry":

Number poetry gives one an appreciation of pure math but doesn't seem to me to be poetry. Appreciation of it takes place in one's mathematical awareness only, it seems to me.

The more I think about it, the less I know what to call it. It's not visimagery (i.e., visual art). I guess I would call it number art--it's numbers arranged in order to elicit mathematical pleasure. It's not a kind of mathematical poetry, but an equal art.

As for who "dominates" the term, "mathematical poetry," I say let there be competition; let all who want to define it have their say, and hope that reason prevails. What usually happens in picking terms for kinds of art is what has happened with the term, "postmodernism." A catchy worthless term is coined, probably by an ignorant academic, and someone even more ignorant but with a lot of readers makes it fashionable, and the morons run with it before people of intelligence have had a chance to analyze it and perhaps find a better term.

I will admit that my definition of mathematical poetry fits the kind of math-related poems I compose. So what? What matters is not whether my self-interest is involved, but whether the definition is effective or not.

Aside from what I'm calling "number art," it seems to me there are three kinds of math-related poetry: poetry that is about math, poetry that is generated by some kind of mathematical formula (like make a poem out of every third word in a given dictionary, and poetry in which some mathematical operation is aesthetically central.

I don't think poetry about math should be considered poetry because, to make it simple: poetry about chemistry is not called "chemical poetry," poetry about Bach would not be called "musical poetry," poetry about Picasso's paintings would not be called "visual poetry," poetry about Maria Tallchief would not be called "choreographical poetry," and so forth.

Similarly, mathematically-generated poetry (like sonnets, which are generated in part by the rule that they be ten by fourteen unit rectangles, or that kind of poem each of whose lines has a number of words in it equal to the sum of the number of words in the preceding two lines, or whatever it is) are no more mathematical poems than a bridge of building is a mathematical bridge or mathematical building because generated in part by mathematics. The end product is not mathematical.

Sorry about the slip up regarding "mathematical visual poetry," and I do see the difference. I wasn't able to type my post and read your entry at the same time, and forgot your designation. Anyway, my opinion remains the same: a visual poem that has mathematical symbols in it that don't carry out any mathematical operations is simply a visual poem with mathematical content.

I agree that my long division poems are equational. But some of my other math-related poems are just terms, Like one that is just an ampersand with an exponent of three. "Andness" multiplied by itself twice. I suppose you could call it an equation, half of which is implied.

Yes, I'm sure our little controversies will disappear into some void or other--"exiled history" sounds okay. Better than "non-history."

all best, Bob

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Henry Segerman - Mathematical Visual Poetry

Here is a couple of pieces of Mathematical Visual Poetry in the Bridges Pecs show by Henry Segerman. The vispo folks may like these as well. The first one is a sphere made from a tessellation of the word Sphere. See if you can find one reiteration of the word (it is right in front of you)

The second one is the same idea with a torus.



Here is a link to his work the Bridges 2010 show in Pecs Hungary.

Heck as a last ditch idea I went ahead and colored the spheres so that it would be easier for some of you to see the words. Here ya go.

Bridges Pecs 2010 - Pecs Hungary

I am happy to report that my pieces “Salvation” and “Whispers” were accepted to the Bridges show in Pecs Hungary opening this July 24th Unfortunately we didn’t display the detail image so that you could read the poem. So I will post it here.

Here is the full Piece "Salvation"


Here is a link to the other artwork that was accepted into the show. Check it out there is some good stuff in there.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Whispers


Here is a recent polyaesthetic piece utilizing a "proportional poem" titled "Whispers"

Monday, June 14, 2010

Five Types of Mathematical Poetry



These are some delineations of "types" of mathematical poems that I have constructed from my experiences through my survey of mathematical poetry and mathematical poets. While it is true that I am writing these delineations they are not necessarily based on my personal beliefs they are based on what I have gathered from others who claim to be mathematical poets. Personally I have problems with some of these ideas and I may or may not address my objections later. However, I think it is important to draw some lines in the sand for discussion. Obviously these lines may move through further discussion and I can imagine that this page will be edited in the future.

I might add that numerous mathematical poems that I have experienced have facets or elements that extend into more than one of these types. In other words, very few "Mathematical Poems" can be described by just one category.


They are:
1.)“Mathematics Poetry”
2.)“Mathematical Visual Poetry”
3.)“Equational Poetry
4.)“Visual Mathematical Poetry
5.)“Pure Maths Poetry” which encompasses ”Number Poetry”



1.)‘Mathematics Poems’ are lexical poems that are influenced by the field of mathematics - There are many examples of these on the internet. This type of poem is the most lexical yet the least like “Pure Mathematics” in the sense of performing mathematical operations on the elements in the visual field. JoAnne Growney seems to be the biggest supporter of these types of poems on found on the internet.
Here is her blog

2.)“Mathematical Visual poetry” uses words and images mixed with/and/or mathematical symbols into a visual field. The mathematical symbols may or may not follow the rules for the formal language of mathematics. This type is much more open and encompasses everything between visual poetry and equational poetry. Because of the wide range of intent it is difficult to place a work on a scale between lexical poetry and pure mathematics However, I believe that if it is more toward visual poetry then it is less like pure mathematics and if it is more like equational poetry then it functions closer to pure mathematics. Or should I say it follows the rules of pure mathematics. Examples of mathematical visual poetry would be in the body of work from Karl Kempton, Scott Helmes, Pi.O. and Bob Grumman

3.)“Equational Poetry” is more rigid than “Mathematical Visual Poetry” in its use of mathematical elements. The rules of mathematics are explicitly used within the structure of the mathematical poem. The explicit use of mathematical rules is what separates “Equational Poetry” from “Mathematical Visual Poetry”. Within the equations words serve as metaphors as well as nested metaphors (metaphors inside metaphors) An example of this type of work would be the mathematical poems at this link. Also Bob Grumman approaches his work with elements of equational poetry and I must also mention the work of Craig Damrauer, which also falls into this catagory. If there are no words in the equation then it is not equational poetry

4.)“Visual Mathematical Poetry” follows the rules of mathematics the same as ‘Equational Poetry’ however the terms for the mathematical poem are purely visual as opposed to textual. In other words the metaphors are visual as opposed to lexical, yet, in essence they function mechanically the same.

5.) “Pure Maths Poetry” is the viewpoint that pure mathematical statements are a poetic expression. What
separates Pure Maths Poetry from the other types is that there are no words/lexical statement. Relative to all types of mathematical poetry “Pure Math Poetry” is the least like “Lexical Poetry.”
Number Poem is a visual formation of numbers who have a verifiable mathematical relationship to each other. The main poetic element in number poems is rhythm or pattern and can be seen by repetitions of certain numbers or operations. Number poems function correctly only when the rules of mathematics are observed. Richard Kostelanetz work from the 1970’s serves as one example of these poems yet, Magic squares and Yang Hui’s Triangle would be examples that are hundreds of years old. Number poems Number Poetry would be a subset of pure math poetry.
Toni Prat also does number poems, however, where Koselanetz focused on mathematical beauty, Prat focuses on paradox which some say is the crux of mathematical metaphor.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Number Poems and Richard Kostelanetz

A Number Poem is a visual formation of numbers who have a verifiable mathematical relationship to each other. The main poetic element in number poems is rhythm or pattern and can be seen by repetitions of certain numbers or operations. Number poems function correctly only when the rules of mathematics are observed. (And in this case Arithmetic)


The following number poems are early works from the Poet/writer Richard Kostelanetz. These works are from the early 1970’s and he was kind enough to share them with us.

The following is titled "Parallel Intervals"




This piece is titled "Two Intervals II"

Saturday, June 12, 2010

On Scott Helmes and Mathematical Visual Poetry

The following is a blog entry devoted to another comment on June 4, 2010 from Pioh concerning my review of Scott Helmes work originally posted on May 30 2010

Dear Kaz
I'm sorry, but it all sounds like damning praise to me, concerning Scott Helmes. You are both "slighting" and "dismissive" while magically "marginalizing" re his influence, (or if not influence, then his status as a precursor). Too,ooo,ooo schizophrenic for my liking. (I wonder what he truly thinks!) (Or for that matter, others!) (Come on, lets open this thing up!) (I know others are reading/listening/thinking) (If we can't do it now, when?!). I would be loathe to describe Helme's work as "light hearted". You seem to be floundering with all due respect.
John Cage is good, but not really relevant in this discussion. If mathematical poetry is to be what "you like" then the subject is closed from what I can see. If there is something larger at stake then lets examine it, seriously. I don't mind being wrong.
Your emphasis on whether an equation is synchronicity or coincidence is not really helpful either. Once used, we have to deal with it; real or imagined!
Variables in an equation DO NOT have to be defined, anymore that WORDS in an equation. The EQUALITY sign DOES NOT mean EXACTLY THIS or EXACTLY THAT (as it does in masthematics) --- it would be a sorry day when we insist that an EMOTION or a THOUGHT or a ANYTHING is so simply put. I think that in MATHEMATICAL POETRY the equal sign (a) suggests, and/or (b) implies a possible ACTION. There are many ACTIONS of course in mathematical poetry (of the equation variety) that are NONSENSICAL, but…. we know what you mean. Which brings me back to the fact that mathematical poetry is better viewed as a system of linguistics. Dividing the MOON by the OCEAN to equal a PALMTREE is understandable as an "image" but multiplying the OCEAN with a PALMTREE only gives you the MOON approximately one-thirteenth of the time --- cos its not there. From my point of view the "equational" poem is of value cos it ALLOWS various JOURNYINGS and SOLUTIONS. Exactitudes are a myth.
You are right, REALITY is not POETRY (tho it contains it) and it isn't THINKING (tho it contains it), and POETRY isn't REALITY (tho it contains it) (… I hesitate to go on). But if a poetry purports to be THINKING, it’s a sorry state of affairs when it borrows contaminated LANGUAGE and pretends that they are context-less, connotation-less, and irrelevant to REALITY. Why bother!? I suggest we BOTHER cos the matrix of all of it still has a pull on us.
Thanxs for letting me talk
Love + anarchy
TT.O.


Dear Pioh,
I think you are missing the point in all of this. It is true that I am dismissive of a particular kind of aesthetic for which we are talking about yet you make it sound like I am being dismissive to Scott Helmes in a personal matter. I assure you that this is not the case and even Scott feels this way.
As far as marginalizing Scotts influence; there is only one person I know who claims to have been influenced by Scott’s work and that person is Bob Grumman. I would guess that Geof Huth was influenced as well but I have not heard him say so. That is not to say that there are not others; however, I have not heard the claims.
But, ultimately we can all have our delusions of Grandeur but the bottom line is that hardly anyone seems to be interested in doing Equational Poetry or Mathematical Visual Poetry for that matter. The most popular form of mathematical poetry (at least in the number of poems found on the internet) seems to be what I call ‘mathematics poetry’ which is lexical poetry influenced by mathematics. The torch for this genre seems to be carried by JoAnne Growney, Kate Stange and Sarah Glaz.
The reason that these blog posts seem critical is not necessarily to demean the genre of mathematical visual poetry but drive a ‘functional’ wedge between it and ‘equational poetry’ and what I mean by ‘functional’ is how each functions or the mechanics of this type of poem. Equational poetry has rules that must be followed this is quite different than mathematical visual poetry which may or may not possess mathematical rules. If this sound confusing well I would have to agree. No one has written any formal criteria for judging mathematical visual poetry. I on the other hand am trying to define criteria to use in determining the aesthetic foundation for ‘equational poetry’. Furthermore, these criteria can be used to determine the aesthetic value for a mathematical poem.

Pioh says, “Variables in an equation DO NOT have to be defined, anymore that WORDS in an equation. The EQUALITY sign DOES NOT mean EXACTLY THIS or EXACTLY THAT (as it does in mathematics) --- it would be a sorry day when we insist that an EMOTION or a THOUGHT or a ANYTHING is so simply put. I think that in MATHEMATICAL POETRY the equal sign (a) suggests, and/or (b) implies a possible ACTION. There are many ACTIONS of course in mathematical poetry (of the equation variety) that are NONSENSICAL, but…. we know what you mean.”

The equation sign in mathematics has a particular meaning and if you try to loosen its definition then it ceases to be mathematics and falls into some other category. Here again we force this type of viewpoint into the realms of mathematical visual poetry as opposed to equational poetry that follows explicitly the rules of mathematics. As far as the term nonsense goes I use it loosely when discussing metaphor and primarily to mean ‘not rational’ – an example of this would be the statement: Joe is a deer. Well, this seems a bit odd sense we all know Joe is a man. This I would consider nonsensical due to it not seeming to be a rational statement. However, ultimately, ‘nonsense’ is not a good term for this situation because metaphorically speaking Bill could be a deer. The type of nonsense that I am critical of is that in which you have rules for a system, namely mathematics, and then you don’t follow the rules. There it ceased to be mathematics and thus become gibberish, vague or decoration at best.

Pioh says, “Dividing the MOON by the OCEAN to equal a PALMTREE is understandable as an "image" but multiplying the OCEAN with a PALMTREE only gives you the MOON approximately one-thirteenth of the time --- cos its not there."

I say, “While I am not terribly excited about this poem, it does function as an equational poem however, I cringe when you put out this arbitrary number of ‘one-thirteenth’ – on another note; I really see limited use of numbers in equational poems. I see numbers only working as coefficients for emphasizing magnitude within a poem” If you say: 4lovemaking x 2arguments = 12emotions then you better have a very good reason to say 12 instead of 8 – Yes you can do it but I find it very cumbersome from an aesthetic view.
I hope this clears some things up.
K
Oh on another note yet related to Pioh’s understanding of the equation sign – Here is a ‘Mathematical Poem’ that he sent me.

Friday, June 04, 2010

More on Scott Helmes

I received some interesting comments from TT.O. concerning my blog entry on the mathematical poetry of Scott Helmes. I have copied the comment below and below his comment I will address it.


Dear kaz
It always annoys me when people use words like "whimsical" it seems so demeaning to me. I looked it up and it said, 1. full of or characterized by whims or whimsy 2. oddly out of the ordinary; fanciful; freakish 3. subject to sudden change; unpredictable. Is the implication that other "mathematical" poetries are the opposite of "whimsical" i.e. the antonym "nonarbitrary"???? I think it unkind. In Scott Helmes's "Second Order Programming" the churning up of the linguistic elements with the mathematical elements is a powerful poem in the "imagist" style. I can sense the aeroplane's engines, the timetables, schedules etc and the sense of urgency in them --- that is, if I read the poem as a whole and not separate it into "five" singular equations. I can sense the pilot going thru their routines etc. You say the equation "serves as nothing more than a real mathematical equation that could be used for something had all of the variables been defined beforehand" --- I don't see why the variables should have to be defined beforehand. The sense of "alienation" from those variables are very much my (your?) experience of aviation. There is a sense of anticipated hope and faith every flyer has that those equations are correct and will work. And whose to say that those "equations" are NOT correct, i.e. REAL equations used in AVIATION? Equations as metaphor are perfectly acceptable "mathematical poetry" I would assume. Further to that, the "sequencing" of equations (i.e. one equation leading on from the one before and so on), builds a "model" i.e. an "object", it "manifests"; takes it out of the realm of the non-substantive, even "spiritual" (say). You say "it seems to me following that path really leads to nowhere"; hypothesizing dead-ends seems to me to be a dangerous art-practice, or at least not wise. It might be asserted (I dare suggest) that the World (or the emotions contained therein) cannot bare or endure the myth of a single equation. It would seem to me that reality or emotions only exist or can be interpreted as a "cluster" of equations, and that each and every equation may be "trivial" on its own, but collectively creates a simulacrum of sorts, an "evocation" of sorts. I find Helmes's poems extremely liberating and full of potential AND mathematical poetry to boot! That is not to exclude other kinds, but the "family" is growing! I'll send you a small offering of mine via attachment on an email. Thanxxxxs for the continued talking.
Love + anarchy
TT.O.

Dear TT.O.
1. Wiktionary.org says this about it -- Given to whimsy; capricious; odd; peculiar; playful; light-hearted or amusing.

Personally I see nothing pejorative about this term. When I used the word, “Whimsical” my intention was playful; light-hearted and amusing. Although some may think so, I think very little of my work is light-hearted – only two pieces come to mind that may fit that category. What I am doing here is stylistically comparing his poetry to mine. I am not making judgments on different types of mathematical poetry. His mathematical poetry appears to be equational poetry yet it functions quite different. Now when the dust settles I think that the bottom line will yield that we have a different view of what is important when it comes to aesthetics. All forms of mathematical poetry are valid but that doesn’t mean that I personally am interested in the aesthetics employed by them. While John Cage was a huge influence on me when I was young and I have always enjoyed his work, yet, his indeterminate processes don’t interest me - at least not the process itself. The beautiful thing about John Cage is how he teaches us to focus on the moment. I have always felt that he was not interested in you being excited about his systems for they are not the point. All of his work was to get you to not focus on art but focus on the moment that you are experiencing. Randomness and stochastic systems are only a tool to help you experience your experience. I have very little appreciation for random gizmos. In other words stochastic systems in general bore me as well as artists who make aesthetic decisions based on “warm and fuzzy feelings” Every inch of the canvas, every word in a poem, every symbol in a mathematical statement has meaning and as an artist I believe you should have a very good idea of what it means to you for your expression.
2. What is important about Scotts work is WHEN it was done and how much of it he was doing -- about ten years before I was doing mathematical poetry but then again my work is quite different than his. There have been a few who have done mathematical poetry before him even as early as the year 1800 however none that I know did as much as Scott had done in the 1970’s.
3. You say; --- “I don't see why the variables should have to be defined beforehand.” I say, “of course you don’t need to define them if you don’t want to; however, at that point they function as pure mathematics and operate as such … if they have meaning you have to bring it to the equation yourself. This seems to be what Scott wishes as well. This issue really begs the question; how much should one have to bring to the table for the piece to work ‘well’ and of course what does ‘well’ mean? It seems to me that if I have to bring a lot to the table and I can view it a number of different unrelated ways then I will see the piece as vague. I would much rather the poet say something in particular – point at something. What turns me on is an artist or poet who points at an archetype but does it in a new fresh way.
4. As far as you said, “who says those equations are not used in aviation? “ Even though I would not find it that interesting if they did; the probability of an aerospace structural engineering equation having those exact variables that spell out words would be astronomically unlikely. However there are equations that do spell out things for instance Energy = mad (mass times acceleration time distance) – again, as curious as these are I don’t find them that interesting. I think my aesthetic boils down to this: Synchronicity is much more interesting to me than Coincidence.
5. In reference to: "it seems to me following that path really leads to nowhere"; you said “hypothesizing dead-ends seems to me to be a dangerous art-practice, or at least not wise.” I say, “The reason I say it is a dead end is because the equation variables are not defined – There is no place to go mathematically speaking. It is too ambiguous - the equation can be solved in too many ways to have any meaningful relationship with the words. Yes you can imagine that it is an aerospace equation but that says more about you and your imagination than it does the equation or the art.
6. You said, “It would seem to me that reality or emotions only exist or can be interpreted as a "cluster" of equations.” I say, “Reality has nothing to do with equations – in fact Reality is just the opposite of equations. Reality is not thinking.”
7. All this said – I don’t want you to think that I don’t like what Scott has done. I like it and especially for the time it which it was done – it is extremely important work.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Introducing Sol Freer

I was surfing the net and ran across a gentlemen that had claimed to have invented mathematical poetry and he had a mathematical poem to prove it. Furthermore as far as I am concerned he did invent it! I am convinced that he independently formulated the idea of Mathematical Poetry so he deserves credit.
Sol didn’t realize that others had been working in it also and like a damn fool I exposed myself to him and probably ruined a good thing. If I would have kept my mouth shut and lurked then he may have taken his mathpo in wildly different directions. He may still yet do so – and I hope he does.
Here is a poem of his titled "What will my life amount to?" --- I snagged it off of ‘deviant art’.


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Scott Helmes Earliest Work

There have been a few approaches by a few people to Mathematical Poetry. One of the earliest of living artists that has made that approach is Scott Helmes. I asked Scott to send me his two earliest poems and his two favorite. Scott earliest mathematical poetry started in the spring of 1972 with the following poems. L(&@ or 1972 and Time Seeies


Scott’s approach is much more whimsical than mine with many nonsensical variables within his equations. It reminds me somewhat of a Jaberwocky for mathematical poetry. Furthermore, there is some that I just don’t get however that is not to say there is nothing there! I keep thinking that I am looking at an equational poem and using the same rules that I would use in that particular case, yet, those rules doesn’t work. A good example of one that I did not get was his “Second Order Programming” Once he gave me a hint I could see what he was getting at. His hint: line 3 is “Statistics” once you see ‘statistics’ then you can find the other words.


My view is that his intention is to show how a math equation can say something else through a ‘poetic overlay’ (my term) I think most of Scott’s work is not trying to say anything in particular at least not through the mathematical equation. In fact it seems to me following that path really leads to nowhere. To me there is more meaning reading the words of the equation as a sentence ‘overlaid ’ or ‘blended’ into the equation which provides a mathematical flavor to the lexical formation. His meaning seems to be derived from the ‘blended’ interplay between the lexical ‘poetic overlay’ and the equation which serves as nothing more than a real mathematical equation that could be used for something had all of the variables been defined beforehand.
Here is one of Scott favorites: "Non Additive Postulations"


The closest thing of his work that I have seen to what I call equational poetry is the piece titled “Real” yet still there are variables and constants that have no definitions. This poem can also be found on the wonderful website “light and dust

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Scott Helmes Collection Page


This Page is for collecting the work of Scott Helmes the photo (above) is from his video from a sales contest showing that he is the greatest salesperson in the world. I love the tie and it just happens to be an Andy Warhol. Here is the video

Here is a link to Real (1980) from light and dust.

Here is some of his earliest work

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Morality is not Rational?


This is a snipit obtained by Delancyplace but ultimately comes from an excerpt from Jonah Lehrer.


"Psychopaths shed light on a crucial subset of decision-making that's referred to as morality. Morality can be a squishy, vague concept, and yet, at its simplest level, it's nothing but a series of choices about how we treat other people. When you act in a moral manner - when you recoil from violence, treat others fairly, and help strangers in need - you are making decisions that take people besides yourself into account. You are thinking about the feelings of others, sympathizing with their states of mind.

"This is what psychopaths can't do. ... They are missing the primal emotional cues that the rest of us use as guides when making moral decisions. The psychopath's brain is bored by expressions of terror. The main problem seems to be a broken amygdala, a brain area responsible for propagating aversive emotions such as fear and anxiety. As a result, psychopaths never feel bad when they make other people feel bad. ... Hurting someone else is just another way of getting what he wants, a perfectly reasonable way to satisfy desires. The absence of emotion makes the most basic moral concepts incomprehensible. G. K. Chesterton was right: 'The madman is not the man who has lost his reason. The madman is the man who has lost everything except his reason.'

"At first glance, the connection between morality and the emotions might be a little unnerving. Moral decisions are supposed to rest on a firm logical and legal foundation. Doing the right thing means carefully weighing competing claims, like a dispassionate judge. These aspirations have a long history. The luminaries of the Enlightenment, such as Leibniz and Descartes, tried to construct a moral system entirely free of feelings. Immanuel Kant argued that doing the right thing was merely a consequence of acting rationally. Immorality, he said, was a result of illogic. ... The modern legal system still subscribes to this antiquated set of assumptions and pardons anybody who demonstrates a 'defect in rationality' - these people are declared legally insane, since the rational brain is supposedly responsible for distinguishing between right and wrong. If you can't reason, then you shouldn't be punished.

"But all of these old conceptions of morality are based on a fundamental mistake. Neuroscience can now see the substrate of moral decisions, and there's nothing rational about it. 'Moral judgment is like aesthetic judgment,' writes Jonathan Haidt, a psychologist at the University of Virginia. 'When you see a painting, you usually know instantly and automatically whether you like it. If someone asks you to explain your judgment, you confabulate ... Moral arguments are much the same: Two people feel strongly about an issue, their feelings come first, and their reasons are invented on the fly, to throw at each other.'

"Kant and his followers thought the rational brain acted like a scientist: we used reason to arrive at an accurate view of the world. This meant that morality was based on objective values; moral judgments described moral facts. But the mind doesn't work this way. When you are confronted with an ethical dilemma, the unconscious automatically generates an emotional reaction. (This is what psychopaths can't do.) Within a few milliseconds, the brain has made up its mind; you know what is right and what is wrong. These moral instincts aren't rational. ...

"It's only after the emotions have already made the moral decision that those rational circuits in the prefrontal cortex are activated. People come up with persuasive reasons to justify their moral intuition. When it comes to making ethical decisions, human rationality isn't a scientist, it's a lawyer. This inner attorney gathers bits of evidence, post hoc justifications, and pithy rhetoric in order to make the automatic reaction seem reasonable. But this reasonableness is just a facade, an elaborate self- delusion. Benjamin Franklin said it best in his autobiography: 'So convenient a thing it is to be a reasonable creature, since it enables one to find or make a reason for everything one has a mind to do.'

"In other words, our standard view of morality - the philosophical consensus for thousands of years - has been exactly backward. We've assumed that our moral decisions are the byproducts of rational thought, that humanity's moral rules are founded in such things as the Ten Commandments and Kant's categorical imperative. Philosophers and theologians have spilled lots of ink arguing about the precise logic of certain ethical dilemmas. But these arguments miss the central reality of moral decisions, which is that logic and legality have little to do with anything."

Author: Jonah Lehrer
Title: How We Decide
Publisher: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt
Date: Copyright 2009 by Jonah Lehrer
Pages: Kindle Loc. 1922-79

Monday, May 24, 2010

Martin Gardner Passes


Martin Gardner, 95, a journalist whose omnivorous curiosity gave rise to wide-ranging writings that popularized mathematics, explored theology and philosophy, debunked pseudoscience and provided in-depth analysis of Lewis Carroll's Cheshire Cat, died May 22 at a hospital in Norman, Okla.
more ...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Links

The shape of things
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/03/100330102747.htm
Golden ratio video
http://www.etereaestudios.com/docs_html/nbyn_htm/intro.htm
John Sims at the Bowery Poetry Club
http://www.artinamericamagazine.com/news-opinion/the-scene/2010-03-25/adrian-piper-john-sims-mark-strand-bowery/print/
European society for Mathematics and Arts
http://mathart.eu/newsletter.html
Some interesting links on Mathematics Poetry
http://mathdl.maa.org/mathDL/iol.co.za/46/?pa=content&sa=viewDocument&nodeId=3482&bodyId=3789

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

John Sims




While I was in NYC to take down the show I met John Sims at the Bowery Poetry Club. (Photo above) We discussed the upcoming event on mathematical graffiti for which Richard Kostelanetz, Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino, Stephane Strickland, Bob Grumman and myself will be performing in some capacity – not sure what I will be doing but, I will keep you informed. The photo below is the Recent show of Sol LeWitt - Adrian Piper that John put together at the Club.




The video below is John Sims talking about the upcoming events at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC. My apologies to John for the poor sound quality. If you are on facebook you can follow John at: http://www.facebook.com/rhythmofstructure

Geof Huth and I at the Spectrum Of Jewels


While I was in NYC to tear down the show Geof Huth and his family met me at the gallery. It was my first meeting with Geof and I enjoyed it greatly. We had a great discussion and he took many pictures of the installation. Above is a shot that his wife Nancy took of us.


Here is a wonderful shot that Geof took of me among the spheres.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Lab Gallery Video


Here is a new released video from "The Lab Gallery" For "A Spectrum Of Jewels" (Please Click On The Image)

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Tools For A Spectrum Of Jewels

More about the Dodecorthogonal Space Poem, "A Spectrum of Jewels":

Here is a photo (albeit a poor one from my iphone) from the banquet/opening showing some of the guests. From left to right:
Richard Kostelanetz, Gregory Vincent St.Thomasino, Kaz Maslanka, Joseph Nechvatal , Robert C. Morgan





Below is a video which shows some tools to help access the piece. Eventually I am going to write a paper that will make things even more clear as to the mechanics of this piece however it is down the road a bit. For now here are the verses of the Dodecorthogonal Space Poem: (which are Orthogonal Space Poems in themselves - poems within a poem)
The non-recognizable words at the end of each line are fabricated due to no word in the English language that represents the value of the equation; therefore the meaning of each word is derived only through mathematics.

Emptiness times Monasticism = Apecksuval
Emptiness times Existence = Doalldoxuval
Emptiness times Non-existence = Nonalldoxuval
Thinking times Urbanity = Selcrasaval
Thinking times Monasticism = Taoodoxuval
Thinking times Existence = Wastconditival
Thinking times Non-existence = Dreemholeval
Existence times Urbanity = Natucrasaval
Existence times Monasticism = Onkeval
Non-existence times Urbanity = Boidasval
Non-existence times Monasticism = Onkeval



The Dodecorthogonal Space Poem is a ‘mathematical poem’ constructed with twelve ‘Orthogonal Space Poems’ arranged contiguously within a Cartesian coordinate system. Orthogonal Space Poems are always in the form of ‘A’ equals ‘B’ multiplied by ‘C’. What is different in this new work is that one of the variables in each poem is a fabricated word whose meaning comes from the mathematical operation applied to the other two variables (words). The words were carefully chosen to point to a spectrum inspired by Zen teachings. Thus, the aesthetic value of the piece is derived from visualizing the meaning of all the concepts spread throughout the entire three dimensional space.

The following URL will take you to a page that has some images of a “computer aided design mockup” showing the main structure of the installation: http://www.kazmaslanka.com/RogerSmith.html

The following statements are to help navigate the installation:
The yellow ball is the point of origin for the entire system.
The white balls define the axes (notice there are three axes)
The green balls are points in space which represent the meaning of a concept which lies on one of the ‘word axes’. A word axis is a one dimensional line drawn between two concepts in space. In a three dimensional space you may have three ‘word axes’. The three word axes in this installation are “Emptiness / Thinking”, “Existence / Non-existence” and “Monasticism / Urbanity”
The red balls are points in space to delineate the coordinate pairs for which the orthogonal space poem starts. The poem lies on the planer space that lies between the red ball, the two adjacent green balls and the yellow ball.”

Here are the verses again however it is important to note that these verses really don't exist on the page they exist as rectangles in space at a particular location in the Cartesian coordinate system.

Emptiness times Urbanity = Socrastival
Emptiness times Monasticism = Apecksuval
Emptiness times Existence = Doalldoxuval
Emptiness times Non-existence = Nonalldoxuval
Thinking times Urbanity = Selcrasaval
Thinking times Monasticism = Taoodoxuval
Thinking times Existence = Wastconditival
Thinking times Non-existence = Dreemholeval
Existence times Urbanity = Natucrasaval
Existence times Monasticism = Onkeval
Non-existence times Urbanity = Boidasval
Non-existence times Monasticism = Onkeval

The theory for this piece can be understood within the body of my paper on Verbogeometry found here

This image may be helpful as well

Monday, March 15, 2010

Installation Video For A Spectrum OF Jewels

Here is a video overview of the installation for "A Spectrum of Jewels" an art installation exhibited at The Lab Gallery in New York City by Kaz Maslanka. The show was curated by artist, international art Critic, and author Robert C. Morgan




Here is a playful fly-though view of a spectrum of Jewels. - One person called it a fly's fly-though however I think a fly is a better pilot.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Video From The Banquet At The Lab Gallery

Matt Semler introduces Kaz Maslanka at the banquet for "A Spectrum of Jewels" Roger Smith Hotel - New York city - March 3, 2010



Poet Philosopher Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino toasts Kaz Maslanka at the banquet for "A Spectrum of Jewels" Roger Smith Hotel - New York city - March 3, 2010



Kaz Maslanka speaks about "A Spectrum of Jewels" at the banquet for "A Spectrum of Jewels" Roger Smith Hotel - New York city - March 3, 2010 (part one)




(part two)


One very bad oversight, at the banquet, was not to thank some special people that helped make this thing happen. First of all, I would like to thank Robert C. Morgan - it was his idea for me to show at The Lab Gallery and it would not have happened if not for him and his work - I also want to thank Matt Semler, his vision for The Lab Gallery and how he pushed me into a direction that made me formulate the idea and to execute a three dimensional work, for I haven't done any serious three dimensional work in thirty years. Next I want to thank my beautiful wife and co-conspirator Ilju-Min Maslanka for helping me with the construction as well as putting up with my neurotic behavior throughout the whole deal. I also want to thank my colleague Ed Johnson who was a great sounding board and idea-mind when it came to the nuts and bolts of the thing. I want to thank my great friend Glenn Alexander for canceling his busy schedule and coming out and helping me install the piece in the gallery. Also helping me with the install was my friend Gregory Vincent St. Thomasino who also gave up a busy day to help. And lastly I want to thank Kelly Tracy who let me toil and ponder in his Imperial Beach studio as I tested my method for the install. Thank ALL of you for I could not have done it without you.

Kaz

Thursday, March 11, 2010

"A Spectrum Of Jewels" Is On Display Until March 27th



The show went up without a hitch and I am pleased with the responses. I am posting a few pictures of the show as well as the neighborhood. The first three pictures show the neighborhood.
Here is a shot looking south on Lexington at 48th street with the gallery being where the green sign (Hotel Roger Smith) and the ground meet.



This second photo is a panoramic shot showing east on the left side of the photo and south on the right hand side of the photo. The gallery is in the lower left hand corner and you can see the installation through the window. The gallery is viewed from the street and due to its great location in the heart of Midtown Manhattan it will have many viewers. (The gallery says 2500 per day)


This shot is obviously during the day and looking north at the gallery.




This shot was taken at night looking east (and a tad north) from the sidewalk through the windows.


This shot was taken inside the gallery space looking east (and a tad north)- It shows the lower half of the piece.


Here is a shot of the upper part of the installation looking straight east.



Here is a shot from outside the gallery looking Northeast

If you are in NYC please check it out!
Thanks!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Roger Smith Labs Press Release

Here is the press release from the Roger Smith Labs for my upcoming show at their gallery. If you are in New York City in March then please come by and check it out.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Maslanka Show at Roger Smith Labs - NYC


Roger Smith Lab Gallery Announcement
“A Spectrum Of Jewels” is the title for the new art installation by Kaz Maslanka that will be featured at the Roger Smith Labs located at 47th and Lexington in New York City. The Show, Curated by Robert C. Morgan, will run from March 5, 2010 to March 26th 2010 and will feature what Maslanka calls a ‘Dodecaorthogonal Space Poem’. This type of ‘mathematical poem’ is constructed with twelve ‘orthogonal space poems’ arranged contiguously within a Cartesian coordinate system. Orthogonal space poems are always in the form of ‘A’ equals ‘B’ multiplied by ‘C’. What is different in this new work is that one of the variables in each poem is a fabricated word whose meaning comes from the mathematical operation applied to the other two variables (words). The words were carefully chosen to point to a spectrum inspired by Zen teachings. Thus, the aesthetic value of the piece is derived from visualizing the meaning of all the concepts spread throughout the entire three dimensional space.

The following URL will take you to a “computer aided design mockup” showing the main structure of the installation: http://www.kazmaslanka.com/RogerSmith.html

The following statements are to help navigate the installation:
The yellow ball is the point of origin for the entire system.
The green balls are points in space which represent the meaning of a concept which lies on one of the ‘word axes’. A word axis is a one dimensional line drawn between two concepts in space. In a three dimensional space you may have three ‘word axes’. The three word axes in this installation are “Emptiness / Thinking”, “Existence / Non-existence” and “Monasticism / Urbanity”
The red balls are points in space to delineate the coordinate pairs for which the orthogonal space poem starts. The poem lies on the planer space that lies between the red ball, the two adjacent green balls and the yellow ball.
For a better understanding of visualizing these poems you may want to Google “verbogeometry” and “Orthogonal Space Poem”

The twelve orthogonal space poems are as follows:
Emptiness times Urbanity = Socrastival
Emptiness times Monasticism = Apecksuval
Emptiness times Existence = Doalldoxuval
Emptiness times Non-existence = Nonalldoxuval
Thinking times Urbanity = Selcrasaval
Thinking times Monasticism = Taoodoxuval
Thinking times Existence = Wastconditival
Thinking times Non-existence = Dreemholeval
Existence times Urbanity = Natucrasaval
Existence times Monasticism = Onkeval
Non-existence times Urbanity = Boidasval
Non-existence times Monasticism = Onkeval

Monday, January 18, 2010

Robert C. Morgan's Response To Delineations


Robert C. Morgan is an international art critic who has written numerous books on art and aesthetics as well as published countless reviews on artist works for such publications as New York Arts, Artscribe, ARTnews, Art in America and many others. He has rewritten my 13 delineations and sent them to me. I have posted them below.

Response to Delineations by Kaz Maslanka (6-Jan. 2010)


Delineation #1:
Mathematical truths are discovered Artistic truths are mediated.
.
Delineation#2:
Artists generally agree on what is mathematically correct. Mathematicians generally have no idea what is artistically correct.
.
Delineation#3
Art illuminates the supportive skeletal structure of thought whereas Math illuminates the metaphoric wind, which blows through that structure.
.
Delineation#4
Art reveals the body of God and Science reveals God's mind -- or is it the converse?
.
Delineation#5
Pure Mathematics has no expression for poetic metaphor however; it does provide us a structure that can be used for it.
.
Delineation#6
In general, the artist is not interested in finding truths through nonsense (except for Dada) as opposed to the mathematician who is. Therefore, we have Dada math instead of an After math.
.
Delineation#7
The goal of mathematics is to go beyond language. Art is a language to describe what is beyond us.
.
Delineation#8.
Mathematicians have an insouciant tendency to get lost in their imagination. Conceptual artists have an attentive tendency to map their imagination
.
Delineation #9
A artistic theory seems to come in a flash of intuition before the final product is rigorously constructed. An mathematical theory seems to come much after the artwork that has been constructed in a flash of intuition.

Delineation #10
Artistic creations are not unique in the sense that they could be discovered by anyone.
Artistic creations are uniquely invented by individuals.

Delineation #11
Art, among other things, is a language.
Art, among other things, uses language.
.
Delineation#12
In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite. —Paul Dirac
.
Delineation #13
Art is the expression of culture.
Pure mathematics is independent of culture, and therefore, closer to what art strives to be.



Robert C. Morgan

Thinking

Analytic Geometry Is The Ballet Of Thinking.



KM010207

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Six Alone In - Karl Kempton


Here is a new'Mathematical Visual Poem' by Karl Kempton - first published in Turkey here

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Rebuttal On The Delineations Of Math And Art



Recently I discovered that Peter Turney wrote comments to my "Delineations between the aesthetics of Mathematics and Art" and he posted them on his blog. I have copied them and wrote a comment for each of his points. I have listed them below with my text being green, his text being blue and the delineations being black.

Math and Art: Differences and Similarities
Posted on May 8, 2009 by Peter Turney
Mariana Soffer has made a list of some differences between math and art. In a contrarian mood, I will go through the points in this list and discuss the similaritiesbetween math and art.


Hi Peter,
Thanks for addressing these delineations on math and art - The main reason I made them is due to the post modern deterioration of the sovereignty of art and the ramifications of the idea that aesthetics equals art. In addition I have found a plethora of talk about the similarities between math and art however, most of it I find ill-conceived and based on the aesthetics of math and not the aesthetics of art. I also believe that this was the main fallacy of George Birkoff and his view of aesthetics as well.


Note: The original source for the following twelve quotations is Kaz Maslanka, Delineations Between Aesthetics of Math and Art. Kaz citesProceedings of the 2002 Bridges Conference on Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and Science, page 256. (Note added December 5, 2009.)


Difference #1: Mathematical truths are discovered. Artistic truths are mediated.



The nature of truth in math is a difficult philosophical problem. Truth in art is perhaps even more problematic. But one lesson we have learned from Doug Lenat’s AM(Automated Mathematician) is that interestingness is arguably more important than truth. It is easy to write a program that generates an endless stream of mathematical truths (1+1 = 2, 1+2 = 3, 1+3 = 4, …); it is much harder to write a program that generates an endless stream of interesting mathematical truths. In this respect, art is much like math: It is much harder to make interesting art than to make true art. In both art and math, truth is (arguably) required for interestingness, but interestingness is more interesting than truth. (Computers can generate art, but is it interesting art?)
It might be said that math is discovered, whereas art is created, but discovery and creation are both aspects of evolution. Mathematical knowledge evolves. Artistic techniques and methods evolve. In both cases, differential fitness is determined by the degree of interestingness.

-I cannot directly speak to Doug Lenat's Automated mathematician for I am not intimate with it but from what I gather from your link it seems you are confusing the aesthetics of math and the aesthetics of art as well. They are two completely different things.
- I find your comments very interesting and I will agree that interestingness is very important however I find it subservient to truths, for if something is not true it will not be interesting no matter how many variations are created. But more importantly, I don't find it very relevant to the original statement. What I am trying to point at is the process of these truths not an aesthetic judgment of them.
-You mentioned, "that it is much harder to make interesting art than to make true art" I find this statement also to diverge from the topic but again more importantly "true art" does not exist due to no one being able to axiomatically define it. Although I will admit that art really needs to be axiomatically defined for now we are under the guise of the vague postmodernist definitions which cling to the flotsam and jetsam created by the shards of the modernist explosion. Not only is math considered, art but accounting, plumbing and auto mechanics are art as well.
-I really need to go back and change the wording of this statement to say "The vast majority of mathematics is discovered instead of implying that all of math is discovered for I believe the initial mathematical axioms are done through a creative metaphorical process however from that point forward the vast new computational concepts are discovered.
-degrees of interestingness are always relative and rely on ones need. For value is always proportional to need. I will admit that differential fitness provides more variety to satisfy ones needs. However, the problem is that we all possess different needs. Which brings us back to the original idea that the veracity of the art must be present to satisfy the needs.


Difference #2: Mathematicians generally agree on what is mathematically correct. Artists generally have no idea what is artistically correct.


The first difference concerns the origins of math and art (where does truth come from?). The second difference concerns validating math and art, after the act of discovery or creation is complete (is it really true?). There is more consensus about truth in math than about truth in art, but, again, truth is relatively trivial, in contrast withinterestingness. Arguably, the level of agreement among mathematicians about what is interesting in math is similar to the level of agreement among artists about what is interesting in art.

Mathematics cannot operate without rigorous definitions to validate their truths and art could care less if there is a any 'definition' of truth present or not (the key word is definition). Interestingness is beside the point as well as being subservient to truth. I cannot speak for mathematicians however, and unfortuneatly, artists cannot even determine "what is art" and what is not. Again I say, with the advent of modernism and the post modern validation that "everything is art" the art world has been turned upside down and value has been place in the hands of marketers (galleries) as opposed to the art aestheticians, critics and scholars. I can only see this being a problem that math will never face.

Difference #3: Math illuminates the supportive skeletal structure of thought whereas Art illuminates the metaphoric wind, which blows through that structure.



Mathematics is heavily metaphorical. This is the lesson of Where Mathematics Comes From (Lakoff and Núñez). Art and math are both based on analogy-making. Meaning (semantics) in both math and art is based on analogy. There is an illusion that math is purely structural, that the interpretation of math is outside of math itself, but this is only an illusion. Math without interpretation is not interesting. Mathematicians, when actually doing math, are always working with interpretations, assigning meanings to the symbols. The formalist view of math misses completely the key role of metaphor in the human enterprise of discovering (creating, evolving)interesting mathematical truths.

I am not a mathematical Platonist and while I agree that both fields are metaphoric, the use of metaphor is quite different. Analogies in math seem to be less problematic if they possess a high degree of relational similarity yet poetry works best if it possesses a low degree of relational similarity yet still makes some sort of intuitive sense. The point I am trying to make is that structure can be seen better when there is a high degree of relational similarity.

Difference #4: Science reveals the body of “God” and Art reveals “God’s” mind — or is it the converse?


Math is grounded in perception (Where Mathematics Comes From), just as art is grounded in perception:
One of the great findings of cognitive science is that our ideas are shaped by our bodily experiences — not in any simpleminded one-to-one way but indirectly, through the grounding of our entire conceptual system in everyday life. The cognitive perspective forces us to ask, Is the system of mathematical ideas also grounded indirectly in bodily experiences? And if so, exactly how? — Preface of Where Mathematics Comes From
If you insist on the body-mind duality, then art and math are equally of the body or of the mind.


Originally I stated that science reveals the body of GGod and art GGods mind.

-I really need to go back and change this delineation to the original that I had published earlier which excluded the clause "or is it the converse"
-The point I am trying to make is that a body's structure is very apparent where the structure of the mind is still a mystery.


Difference #5: Pure Mathematics has no expression for metaphor however; it does provide us a structure that can be used for it.



Formal mathematics separates the symbolic structure of math from the interpretation of math, but the two really belong together. Math can only be interesting when it is interpreted.

-I have changed my delineation to read 'poetic metaphor' as opposed to solely 'metaphor'.
I see poetic metaphors pointing at the amorphous as opposed to mathematical metaphors which point at analogy.


Difference #6: In general, the mathematician is not interested in finding truths through nonsense as opposed to the artist who is


.
Many mathematical discoveries were made by asking questions that seemed nonsensical at the time. For example, what if the parallel postulate were false?


I see there being a big difference between the concepts of 'nonsensical' and 'false'. The idea of false presupposes logic to be involved in the discourse and nonsensical discourse avoids logic. I have never seen nonsensical pure mathematics.



Difference #7: The goal of art is to go beyond language. Mathematics is a language to describe what is beyond us.



Art is a form of communication between the artist and the audience. Creative art pushes the boundaries of that communication and extends the language of art. Creative math extends the language of mathematics. In both cases, language evolves, communication evolves, new metaphors evolve (are created, are discovered).



-I don't see art being a language I see art as something that uses languages. Math is to 'applied mathematics' as 'language' is to art. Much of art tries to convey nothing and some art's intention is to destroy itself. Great art transcends language.

Difference #8: Artists have an insouciant tendency to get lost in their imagination. Mathematicians have an attentive tendency to map their imagination.


Mathematicians get lost in their imagination. Artists map their imagination.



Now THAT is funny. --My point here is that the result of mathematics has a starting point and an ending point however, artist tend not to care where things start, end or whether it even makes any sense. If an artist second guesses the logical value of his/her work then it will never get done.

Difference #9: A mathematical theory seems to come in a flash of intuition before the final product is rigorously constructed. An artistic theory seems to come much after the artwork that has been constructed in a flash of intuition.


In both cases, something rough, incomplete, and vague becomes smoother, more complete, better understood over time. Both math and art evolve. The apparent difference here is perhaps due to the ambiguity of the word theory. A closer examination of what is meant by theory may show that there is little difference between math and art in this respect.



Theory is the key word here and there is much difference. Art theory is concerned purely with aesthetics. Mathematical theories are not created for aesthetic purposes alone, if at all. Math theories have axioms or postulates; art theories do not furthermore, few would agree even if they did. Mathematicians create mathematical theories. Artists generally do not concern themselves with creating art theory for art theories are generally created by aestheticians. The artwork is done first then the theory comes later.

Difference #10: Mathematical creations are not unique in the sense that they could be discovered by anyone. Artistic creations are uniquely invented by individuals.


Artistic creations are no more unique than mathematical discoveries. This difference is the myth of the hero.

I looked at your examples and I think you may be confusing independent discovery with plagiarism. Hollywood is rife with marketers trying to guess what will sell and are in direct communication with directors and writers. The 'commercial arts' are completely different from 'studio arts' for it is like confusing science with engineering ... However the biggest problem in your example is that these ideas are based on a single culture. This example doesn't float across cultures. Try matching something across different cultures like Pascal's triangle which shows up in France with Pascal as well as in Iran with Omar Khayyam and China Yang Hui Please show me some art work that shows up in France Iran and China.

Difference #11: Mathematics, among other things, is a language. Art, among other things, uses language.


The symbolic system of math is a tool for expressing metaphors. The heart of math is the metaphors. Art is the same in this respect.

As I said before Art is not a language art uses language. It is like saying that physics is the same thing as mathematics and we know it is not.


Difference #12: In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it’s the exact opposite. —Paul Dirac



Poetry can tell us new things, to the same degree that science and math can tell us new things. In both cases, we can learn new metaphors, new analogies, gaining a new perspective on the world.

While what you say here seems true it doesn't really address Dirac's quote.

And to continue the list:


#13
I just recently posted on my blog that Art is the expression of Culture and pure mathematics transcends culture therefore, cultureless
below are the following comments associated with the blog post:


apperceptual said...
Mathematics does not transcend culture. The development of math is driven by human interests. There are fashions in math (search Google for "fashions in mathematics"), as human interests change over time.

You might agree that interests change, yet claim that the truth of a mathematical proposition transcends culture, but consider that, for example, Intuitionist mathematicians reject the law of the excluded middle. As Lakoff and Nunez argue, math is a product of human experience, based on living in bodies, living in the world. Math does not transcend humanity; rather, it is saturated with humanity.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009 7:19:00 PM

Kaz Maslanka said...
Thanks for your comment Peter.
The Key here is "Pure Mathematics" and "Culture". Of course cultures use mathematics however that concept is in the realm of applied mathematics. There are many examples in design such as Celtic weaves and Islamic star patterns which server as an example. What I am talking about is when people think of zero or the decimal system they do not think of the Indian Culture unless they learn that the Hindus created it. The is nothing English or German about Calculus it could have easily been invented by the Chinese. Pascal's triangle is not a product of the French, Iranian nor Chinese Culture. Sure that culture may have some effect on their thought processes however the end result is the same. I will agree that there are mathematical trends and fads within certain groups of people however these are 'people' not 'cultures' working on these ideas. I am not a mathematical Platonist and I am not saying that mathematics exists separate of people, yes humanity creates mathematics however culture is a subset of humanity not the other way around. There is nothing personal about mathematics that is why one persons fractal 'art' looks just like every other persons work. Sure there are some minor differences between fractal 'art' but these are not mathematical differences, they are artistic differences and not very notable ones at that.
Individuals are not culture
P.S.
I will be addressing your other comments to the delineations very soon ...Thanks Peter for your dialogue.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009 10:35:00 PM


apperceptual said...
What I am talking about is when people think of zero or the decimal system they do not think of the Indian Culture unless they learn that the Hindus created it.

Math may transcend any specific culture (e.g., Indian culture), but that doesn't mean that it transcends all human culture. Math is a very human enterprise.

One might argue that music varies from one specific culture to another, yet most cultures have some kind of music. How is cultural variation in math different from cultural variation in music? I hypothesize that there isn't much difference here.
Thursday, December 31, 2009 5:34:00 AM



Kaz Maslanka said...
Culture is not a subset of Culture it is a subset of humanity. If you were to say all of humanity is a culture then the meaning of the word ceases to exist and there would be no reason to use it.
No one is arguing that math is not a human enterprise as I said I am not a mathematical Platonist.
Apperceptual said, "How is cultural variation in math different from cultural variation in music? I hypothesize that there isn't much difference here."
I have to say that there is a very significant difference. Cultural expression is not only about variation. It is about concepts that have similar relationships to each other AND about a specific group of people. Mathematics never expresses relationships 'about' a group of people.
It is interesting to note that some may think that the music in all cultures share a common 'beat' or pulse of time yet that idea is even problematic due to the way cultures view time. The time in African music is like a metronome whereas within classical European music the pulse fluctuates and cannot be tracked by a metronome.

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