Into the continuum

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The particular “work” that is posted online at my blog, though partly serving as an artistic outlet for myself to some extent, is about sharing ideas and exploring various themes. Originally, before I began posting GIFs that my computer and I made, this blog was just a place for me to share miscellaneous things about maths, physics, and many other things that may not naturally fit into these categories. It was only after a couple years of running the blog that I started using Mathematica to make GIFs.

Much of my animations serve a dual purpose. Some may serve to illustrate a certain mathematical concept, but they may also be able to stand alone as something with pure aesthetic value in itself, not unlike art. This sort of middle ground often inspires and forms the basis of a lot of the content. I would go even further to argue that this distinction between aesthetics and mathematics is inherently blurred by the process of creating the work. This is a consequence of the medium being purely computer generated: it is governed by an algorithmic process.

I do not see myself as an artist in the first place, but prefer to think in some abstract sense that the “art transcends me”. What I mean by this is that I don’t attribute a strong degree of personal responsibility for the creation of the output. Sure, it’s me typing the code I choose to type, but to me the resulting output is something purer which exists independently of my doing. This is analogous to the way that a formula might be discovered by a mathematician; this formula itself is a manifestation of mathematical truth and ought to be considered independently of any particular individual. In this regard, my relationship with the art is more depersonalized than other more traditional approaches to art.

In its purity, I do tend to think of the mathematics I use to code GIFs to be a means of expression, but only because it serves as a means to achieve the desired output (a particular shape or dynamic pattern). Yet, doing it doesn't quite feel the same as playing an instrument or writing a poem (although I know some who might argue this!). Instead, for me this sort of mathematical expression seems to be more detached from myself.

Unfortunately, I must admit that most GIF ideas rarely make it past the point of being mere ideas. Although I believe in principle that there is a way to express any idea in a GIF, it is usually my own inability that prevents me from doing so. The ideas that survive and result in a GIF are therefore often the most simple, and I'd like to think that this simplicity is evident in many of the GIFs that I have created. It seems that this limitation I face has itself influenced what I am able to create, and I don't mind this too much—some of these simpler ideas are best suited for GIFs.

Volgende week volgt een interview met Intothecontinuum met Julius de Hond. 

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