Posts

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Mathemat-ART-ical Fract-ART Augumented with Deep Learning

I am fascinated by the combinations of mathematics and art for several reasons; one reason is that it is so difficult to show the beauty of mathematics to non-experts. As a mathematician I am often frustrated that my work cannot be understood by many people that are important to me. Using mathematics to create Read more

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Finnish Artist Makes Progress in Geometry

When I met Sir Roger Penrose at the centenary conference of Alan Turing in Manchester in 2012 I told him that Penrose tiling is now featuring as a tiling of Keskuskatu, a central street in Helsinki, he was upset. He said “They should always ask me before they use it!” I was a little dumbfounded. “Can you show a picture?” he continued. I googled it with my smart phone and showed him:

He stared at it for 30 seconds and said “It seems alright.” Sir Roger Penrose is a physicist, mathematician and a philosopher of mind. His ideas are often controversial. He believes that Gödel’s incompleteness implies that the human mind cannot be simulated by a Turing machine which in turn would imply that the human mind radically depends on quantum mechanics which in turn… requires revision according to Penrose, who doesn’t believe in the Schrödinger’s cat. Despite being controversial, he has written numerous books which are excellent at popularizing mathematics, physics and philosophy of mind thereby attracting numerous students to these areas whether they agree with him or not.

[EDIT: I have now heard that Penrose was asked for the permission about Keskuskatu and he gave one. Apparently he either didn’t remember that or he didn’t realize it was the same thing.]

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Big Friendly Giant and Square to Cube Ratio

Before you continue reading, I would like you to participate in a small poll. Ready? Imagine a giant grasshopper which is otherwise identical to a normal insect grasshopper, but is 50 cm (20 inches) of height. It is like a 20-fold zoomed-in version of the grasshopper, all body parts increased proportionally. Regular tiny grasshoppers can jump up to twenty times times their own body height. The question is:

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Big Friendly Giant (2016)

In this post I will explain which is the right answer to the poll and why the giants in the giant country in the movie Big Friendly Giant violate the laws of physics. My aim is not to critisise the movie, but to point out that physics in it is flawed (which is not necessarily a downside artistically speaking). I will also try to give an impression of what the physics of the giant folks should look like which would give the reader an intuition why Read more

Podcast

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Art vs. Mathematics and How to Get Something from Nothing: An interview with Markus Rissanen

I wrote previously about Markus Rissanen when I still didn’t know him personally. Markus is a professional artist who has been fascinated by tilings and their mathematical properties such as symmetries and regularities ever since he was very young. As explained in my previous post, Markus eventually solved the problem of generalising some quasiperiodic properties of Penrose tilings from 5-fold symmetry to n-fold symmetry for any positive integer n. In this interview we briefly touch the subject of tilings. Then we talk about the difference between mathematical work, artistic work and the work of writing a PhD thesis in which Markus was engaged for the past four years. I got to ask him a question that has been bothering me for a long time: Why don’t artists, especially painters do joint work? At least significantly less frequently than, say, mathematicians, who are traditionally considered to be “lonely workers” (not the case! See my interview with Olli Martio). Another important topic we touch upon is what to do when you do not have inspiration? Here is part of Markus’ answer:

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Ewa and Vadim at Jeff Koons exhibition London
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Art as sanity coping and how to follow your passion: An interview with Ewa Wilczynski

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View on YouTube

My parents wanted me to be a dentist

In this episode I interview Ewa Wilczynski.  Read more

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How to be the Artist You Want: An Interview with Bella Volen

Bella and I in her studio in Vienna.

Bella and I in her studio in Vienna.

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Download the mp3 file by right-clicking here.

Bella Volen is a Bulgarian born artist based in Vienna, Austria. She creates amazing art installations through painting on virtually everything: canvas, humans, balloons, guitars, walls, … the list is endless. Here are some of my favourites:

For more of Bella’s art, recent news and all you want to know, visit www.bella-volen.com, www.bodypainting-event.com and www.artgallery-vienna.com.

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