People want to see patterns in the world. It is how we evolved. We descended from those primates who were best at spotting the telltale pattern of a predator in the forest, or of food in the savannah. So important is this skill that we apply it everywhere, warranted or not.
Benoît Mandelbrot: The Misbehavior of Markets (2004)
Art is the imposing of a pattern on experience, and our aesthetic enjoyment is recognition of the pattern.
Alfred North Whitehead: The Dialogues of Alfred North Whitehead (1954)
Pattern can be discerned at all scales that exist between the infinitesimal and the infinite. The arts and sciences expose and amplify pattern in the world. This issue looks at pattern as a primary aspect of our encounter with the world, as a container of meaning and how these meanings resonate in different cultures around the world.
In Pattern and Meaning, Interdisciplinary artist and Professor of Sculpture, Simeon Nelson, explores how pattern is both a function of our perception and an attribute of the world. He also shows examples his artwork in Sculpture. Installation. Drawing. Text.
Artist Rachel Kneebone’s intricate works address and question the human condition: renewal, transformation, life cycles and the experience of inhabiting the body. In an exclusive interview, Experiencing the human condition ‘in-between’, she discusses her work and her interest in addressing the human condition that is centred on the human body.
In Pattern and Prejudice, Sculptor, Graphic Artist and Author, David Wade, explores the status of pattern in visual culture and design. He also shows examples of his own artwork in Fluid Geometries and Pattern Pieces.
Internationally renowned artist, architect and engineer, Cecil Balmond transcends the conventional boundaries of discipline working in the crossover between art and science. from ‘Element’ is the central essay from his book of the same name.
In Time and Memory, visual artist and Zen Buddhist practitioner, Robyn Ellenbogen, shows examples of pattern in her work that encompasses a broad range of media including metalpoint, encaustic, sewing, and photography.
In A phenomenological and process approach to pattern, Psychologist and Psychotherapist, Monia Brizzi discusses the notions of pattern, meaning and consciousness.
Plus, there’s the Pattern and Meaning video talk blog featuring Benoit Mandelbrot: Fractals and the art of roughness ; Keith Critchlow: Cambridge Mosque Geometer ; Gavin Schmidt: The emergent patterns of climate change ; Max Tegmark: Consciousness is a mathematical pattern ; and Ron Eglash: The fractals at the heart of African designs.