Physics Abounds at Conference on Math and Art- Times Of Nation
Like Hart, Bathsheba Grossman has been attending Bridges conferences since their inception. But, she says, she chose to miss some of the recent gatherings partly to work more privately and partly because the cost of attending was sometimes prohibitive. The virtual format of this year’s conference, though, allowed her to present from the comfort of her home, which was ‘an irresistible opportunity to connect with old, and new, colleagues,’ she says. ‘It’s a silver lining’ to the pandemic-ridden world.
Grossman was one of the first mathematics-inspired artists to embrace 3D printing, a technology she still uses to create palm-sized sculptures of geometrical structures. These structures include Klein bottles (see Repackaging a Mathematically Odd Bottle) and triply periodic surfaces, whose designs come from mathematical algorithms that Grossman creates. But it was her recent venture into glass that took center stage in her talk.
The artist started working with glass when COVID-19 hit- she wanted something to do with her hands, but she also wanted to add spontaneity and surprise to her work. Her glass sculptures are inspired by her algorithm-based designs of reaction-diffusion patterns. But unlike her earlier 3D-printed sculptures that look identical to her simulations, the glass pieces come out differently every time, even with the same inputs. ‘You put the glass into the kiln, something happens, but you’re not there for it, and then you take the sculpture out,’ she says. ‘It’s very mysterious.’
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