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"my search for a classical form in the emerging medium of digital art" - harvey rayner

Archive for the ‘Geometry’ Category

Arithmetica Art Pseudo Maths

Wednesday, August 15th, 2007

Arithmetica art

I’m looking for two things in my current work of which this is a small unripe fruit. I’m looking to see if any real maths in my head and also, I’m looking to create new artistic language that’s distinctly different from all previous root2art work. This last aim will only come out of a radical shift in subject matter which the first aim hopefully will provide.

When Digging Into Some Mathematics One Day I found Some Art

Sunday, August 5th, 2007

Spiral Art From Mathematics

In this art i found some mathematics:-

I’m reminded here of the first line of the first poem I every wrote about my art work: ‘art derived from geometry: geometry derived from art’

Whilst I’ve created no great work of art or mathematics here I’m quite excited by this ‘thing’.

As bizarre as it may seem to us today: – until Pythagoras discovered the connection between musical harmonics and mathematics it was universally believed that there was no connection between the science of nature and numbers. Mathematics in ancient Greek times was a purely philosophical discipline. In fact it was also Pythagoras who was also believed to have invented the term philosophy. Mathematics today seems to creep into just about all subjects including art.

This last month I’ve been working mostly on a pure mathematics project. Hence not much activity here on my art blog. For centuries mathematicians have been obsessed with trying to find a pattern to the sequence of prime numbers in the number line. For what its worth here is my own completely intuitive feeling about the primes based on my own work in this area. Within the apparent randomness of the placement of the primes is a property like that of mind. As mind gives rise to an external world, and the external world gives rise to mind: so to can certain mathematical patterns be reflected in the sequence of primes, and simultaneously the primes can give rise to patterns in other mathematical entities.

This is a tough one to articulate! Trying again:- The primes have an ability to reflect and reveal certain seemingly unrelated patterns in mathematics, yet the primes by nature have no logical sequence that can be described in isolation from other mathematical ‘environments’.
I’m somehow invoked by the study of the primes into thinking about the nature of memory, mind and the memory properties of water. Not that I know much about these things. As I said, this is just an intuitive ‘feeling’ and I have no logical reasoning to support my dumb artist’s hypothesis.

If nothing comes out of my current project in the way of real maths, then I’m hoping I can at least get some good visuals.

Hypothesis Art From Pure Mathematics

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

3d Optical Art From Pure Mathematics

I’m becoming more convinced that, within the geometry/art canon I have begun with Root2Art, I can find the next generation of artistic form and content, from dipping further into pure mathematics. Analysis to be more precise. The image above reveals nothing about any original idea in mathematics, or indeed unoriginal idea. I’m gambling, however that if I genuinely commit to learning the tools, theorems and history of a particular area of mathematical investigation I’ve been interested in for many years, that I can come up with some fruit. The nature of this fruit might be original art, or maybe even an original idea in mathematics, but maybe it could be something worthy of the name ‘Hypothesis Art’.

Is it possible to create a purely visual statement about a purely mathematical idea, or is this really stretching language too thinly? A visual statement one with real meaning that is, not just some crap conceptual piece that is supposedly about something no one would ever guess at unless told. But something that has a real intelligent and efficient communicative purpose about it, that could explain in a elegant and efficient way an abstract hypothesis about a function for instance. I’m a firm believer that new artistic language grows out of attempts to solve real visual communication problems. My artistic career so far seems to be one long search for more challenging visual problems to work on. I may not solve them, but the act of trying always brings about new and unexpected visual fruit.

Infinite Geometry And My Pseudo Number Theory

Wednesday, June 6th, 2007

infinite geometry

infinity geometry

i’ve been trying to visually crystallize some ideas i’ve been pondering about number theory on and off for many years. i’m not a mathematician and am not trying to create a rigorous mathematical conjecture. all i’m really after is some subject material for creating new art.

A Classical Aesthetic For A Digital Age (sketch)

Monday, May 28th, 2007

A Classical Aesthetic For A Digital Age

a sketch from today’s return to making ‘real art’… the blue is not ‘in’, it just shows you what’s what.

this blog has been getting a significant raise in traffic recently. i don’t know if its returning visitors or if it is my articles just being picked up more in the searches. either way this increase in visibility has been in spite of me recently neglecting the ‘real art’ core of this blog. that’s my attempt at regularly updating these pages with new and exciting ‘real digital art’. the last few months have been taken up with work for my pattern project which is really just a stab at gaining broader exposure and maybe some nice cash. its funny, i often get emails from visitors asking how i became an established artist. the truth is i’ve never been financially established. i remain an underground artist and my sales are practically zero. i can only think of 2 pieces i’ve sold in over 10

so anyway, that’s not quite what i had in mind when i started to write this post. i was instead thinking of ‘a classical aesthetic for a digital age’. highly pretentious yes. but somehow this describes what my ‘real art’ output aspires to find. i feel its healthy for an artist to always aspire to something that’s very hard to reach. i found this quote by my hero Michelangelo the other day. – “The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark.” – i love this.

so what do i mean by ‘classical aesthetic’..? well, an aesthetic that is archetypal and both firmly grounded in convention yet stands outside it. the thing is digital art is a new media pretty much without established conventions and this is where i have to be ambitious. i want to create art that looks like it has its own embedded set of conventions. probably most good art has this, but more over, conventions that can clearly recorded and shared with others. just like the conventions in classical music. the geometric metering would allow me to do this if there were individuals who wanted to know. i’ve talked about these root2art conventions elsewhere on this site, but most of them which i rely on to create are still and unrecorded. it might be an interesting experiment to see what others would produce working within this conventions and see also how they would be modified my new invention.

of course this is all a bit of a fantasy, the important thing is that the work looks like it has this level of meaning. i’m not saying i have achieved it, but its something i aspire to.

here is something i wrote to a friend today whilst talking about conventions in film:-
“i’m fascinated with pure forms in all genres. conventions, to me, are the natural crystallisation of what works given a certain set of conditions, refined and evolved by successive generations of creativity. i see a parallel with conventions in the arts to evolution in nature. like conversion in nature, where the same solutions evolves independently in different locations, (such as the certain types eye ball and chlorophyll) conventions in art can evolve independently in different cultures. i’m keen, like yourself, to learn from these archetypes.”

Samurai Ball Art

Tuesday, December 26th, 2006

samurai ball art

some geometric relationships i used whilst developing the tetrahedron project led me to creating the motif above. its 90% of what i think it can be with a bit more work. 

Samurai Geometry

Tetrahedron Sculpture 0.3 Sketch

Monday, December 11th, 2006

Tetrahedron Sculpture 0.3 Sketch

although the changes between sketches may seem small, i may have tried a hundred different ideas before setting on the next step. at this stage i try to keep things as holistic as possible and not developing any one element independently of the the whole. what i’m really looking for in this early stage is the various axis of symmetry and geometric integrity.

i’ve set aside the whole winter to develop this piece so you will see this is still very early days, so getting the fundamental form right before building on it is critical.

below is a diagram of the basic proportions of a simple tetrahedron. i drew this to print off so i have something to draw on and play around with different geometric ideas.

Tetrahedron Geometry



The Matter Eater – Mathematics Inspired Art

Tuesday, December 5th, 2006

outline of sculpture

having spent the best part of this year playing with my site, making icons, background patterns, t-shirt designs and the like, i’m increasing feeling like getting back to producing some more serious work. serious within the context of making art that is.

the ‘space balls work’ despite the dumb name was the start of this, but this primarily geometric exploration deals with only one aspect of the new artistic concepts i am now developing on a daily basis. i am increasing looking to patterns within mathematical language to find the starting point for new art ideas. i studied mathematics at A-level at school, but never really got into it. it was a shame we were never given an general overview of the how mathematics as a language evolved over the ages and how it can be used to describe, understand and think about reality. its funny that for many years i have used geometry and algebra without really understanding the difference between the two.

for shear pleasure i am educating myself about the history of mathematics and it is providing a huge inspiration and resource for new work. the sculptural form above is in a very rudimentary stage but i think the essential elements are already all in place. it is an example of the kind of thing that is starting to grow out of my new interest in the dynamics of mathematics. maybe i’ll explain what the hell this all means to me another day.

Geometry Of Space Balls

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

Geometry Of Digital Space Balls

the geometry of this ‘model’ is fascinating. i’m finding new relationships and peculiarities all the time. the more i understand it as a whole the more i know what it is that i want to reveal in it. it’s about constantly re-examining what’s there to see what essential and what’s not.

Little Man Icon

Friday, November 17th, 2006

Graphic Man Icon

not sure where i’m going with this, but the little man icon, i feel has a lot of potential. driving home from the north of the country the other day after a trip to visit friends and climb, i began to develop an idea for a picture on a theme i could call, ‘Everyone What’s To Be Happy’. An essential element of this picture would be an infinite field of identical little people icons vanishing into the distance. At the heart of the pictures concept is the notion that all living things are united in our common desire to avoid suffering. The sketch above doesn’t reflect what i imagine for this composition, but i’m posting it as part of my new resolution to post the elements of my work as they evolve.

in the sketch above i’m really just exploring the geometry underpinning the icon and finding a strong relationship in the geometry of one icon to the scaled geometry of its neighbour.

Shaping Up Core Elements

Thursday, November 9th, 2006

mirror world 10

shaping up. this are the core structure i hope to use to build up a rich theme of variations.

Zen In Geometry And Numbers. Geometric Sketch For New Conceptual Work

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

Zen In Geometry And Numbers 

See bigger image

I’m not a mathematician and as far as I am aware none of my work has no real mathematical basis. My geometric ‘studies’ are instead based in an intuitive and philosophical affinity with the geometric relationships I have derived my art from over the last decade and a bit.

I have an nerdy obsession with symmetry and this obsession leads me into very abstract areas of thought. I also have a preoccupation with trying to understand the nature of reality. Geometry for me, as it was for the Greeks, is a philosophical language. It is a language that allows me to explore these abstract areas of thought and also give expression to what I find and feel is significant in it. Also, thrown into the mix is the influence of my Buddhist practice and the Buddhist teachings I have read.

The Buddhist concept of void and form, for me within geometry, has a parallel in the concept of infinity and zero. The Buddhist notion of self and relativity also has some expression within geometry as the notion of ‘one’ and symmetry.

The figure above shows how 1 sits at the centre of infinity, and that the progression to infinity and zero from 1 are actually the same thing.. Conventional mathematics gives us a picture of infinity that looks like this:

-infinity….. -5,-4,-3,-2,-1,0,1,2,3,4,5…… infinity

The picture has zero in the middle and +/- infinity at either end. Infinity in this picture is far away in the distance and can never be shown however far we zoom out.

The Zen view and experience of reality is that the whole universe is here right now in this moment. Taking this concept into the realm of numbers, this universe is infinite as it is simultaneously void of inherent, permanent existence. A Zen axiom is that all things are born and return to emptiness. Now, all magnitudes relative to zero are infinite. Or we could say any number divided by zero equals infinity.

My diagram represents numbers as arcs except number 1 which is a straight line, or rather a portion of an arc of infinite radius.

The inverted figure contains a theoretical progression of all numbers from zero through to infinity with the number 1 shown in the middle. The values shown to the left of 1 are the reciprocal of the values shown to the right.

We thus get a ‘picture’ of reality like this:-


However, the progression to zero is the mirror image of the progression to infinity. This could be seen as a delineation of the Zen notion of ‘all form is void: all void is form’.

Thus we picture the geometry of this as representing:-

0, infinity, 0 or 0, 1, 0

This is all a bit heady and is not intended to be a proof or some absolute representation of the nature of reality. The geometric sketch above is simply my attempt to give an alternative expression to concepts that are very difficult to communicate with the spoken word. When I first started messing around with this geometry many years ago, my own view of relativity and reality shifted in response to what was revealed in the language of the geometry. It may not have shifted any closer to gaining a closer experience of reality, but my revelations seemed profound enough at the time and I figure there could be great potential in geometry to communicate this abstract area of thought and experience.

The work above is a sketch originally intended as personal notes on key geometric relationships. I hope to develop it into a more resolved work of art, but unlike my previous work, i will not be looking to hide the underlying philosophical component, but instead making it central to the work. Much of my work over the last ten years or so contains geometric/philosophical intrigue for me at least, however the language I have used by enlarge was designed to cover up much of what could be potentially elaborated on from a conceptual point of view. This was probably in response to what I used to see as the over conceptualisation of art.
 Inversion Art Geometric Study

Above: Study from around 2000 based on the same geometric relationships shown at the top of the page, but where the potential conceptual component in not explored.