Kit Yates is a Lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Bath, UK, where his research focuses on the mathematical modelling and analysis of biological systems. Throughout his career to date, he has worked on a variety of intriguing problems, modelling the random motion of single molecules at one extreme, to the large-scale migration of swarming insects at the other. In this exclusive interview he discusses his research and work in Mathematical Biology.
Cecil Balmond OBE, is widely considered to be one of the most significant creators of his generation.
An internationally renowned artist, architect and engineer, Cecil Balmond transcends the conventional boundaries of discipline working in the crossover between art and science. In this dynamic area, he has re-invented the very concept of space, transforming the meaning of geometry, form and structure.
Balmond’s design approach engages inner organisational systems – a process based on rigorous research. He has spent over 40 years investigating the relationship between form and the very roots of order at the core of life
Julius Colwyn is a nomad, in between disciplines, walking the strange places between the bodies of knowledge, a thought ecologist.
His work is concerned with how we grow an understanding, how we can incubate a meaning within a metaphor, a metaphor in a pattern, the pattern within a form, the form within a structure, the structure within a space.
His theoretical background is in art history and literature, and his artistic practice engages scientists of various disciplines, exploring questions about reality and human nature that lie between disciplinary boundaries.
“Mapping, ornament and other languages of systematic representation are a focus of my practice. My sculptural language transposes between the graphical and the spatial using the tropes of cartography, ethnographic ornament and scientific illustration. The resulting work is as much a map or model of itself as of its referent.”
Simeon Nelson is a sculptor, new media and interdisciplinary artist interested in convergences between science, religion and art, complexity theory and relationships between art, architecture urban sites and the natural world.
“People have always searched for the “song beneath the song” – a way to discover, match, and predict the patterns of a complicated world. Every job, from firefighting to lawyering, demands that practitioners learn the patterns, say, of how a fire grows or an argument is made. But how deep do patterns go? Are there patterns that underlie it all? Can our computers learn them for us?”
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.
“Merely conceiving of and talking about reality and experience at all presuppose notions of pattern, meaning and consciousness. This position recognises the immanence of an existing objective reality, which nevertheless is in any way accessible and meaningful to us only though our subjective apprehension of it. Reciprocally it also recognises that consciousness is always consciousness of the real world – a response to the meanings of the world, to the world’s own consciousness as it were. The pattern of being is deeply relational, originating in between ‘subject’ and ‘object’, prior to their separation.”
Monia Brizzi is a London based Chartered Psychologist, Registered Psychotherapist and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.
“Pattern can be discerned at all scales that exist between the infinitesimal and the infinite. We humans oddly seem to occupy nearly the mid point in this scale, which has been commented on as a new type of anthropocentrism. Humans (and to varying extents other living creatures) have an inborn and intense predisposition to perceive, represent and create pattern to make sense of a perilous and confusing world around us. We have primordial awareness of pattern to make sense of our place in the scheme of things and to make meaning and purpose out of our finite and limited existence. Pattern is both a function of our perception and an attribute of the world. The entire cosmos could be said to be an eternally unfolding sequence of patterns.”
Simeon Nelson is a sculptor and installation artist. He is currently professor of sculpture at the University of Hertfordshire
This essay introduces two recent exhibitions and examines the origins of ArtScience in relation to the nineteenth century’s transition from representation to abstraction. While that progression was a seminal step in art history, the author proposes that a no less seismic impact resulted from its spatial reorientation – from expressions structured in pictorial imaginary space to those structured in actual, real space. That realignmnt echoed what science had been incrementally doing for four hundred years, by replacing fabricated comprehensions of reality with concrete ones – and in the process, shifting ontological and epistemological dispositions away from the supernatural and toward the natural.
Daniel Hoak earned his PhD in physics from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He is currently a Fulbright grantee and postdoctoral researcher at the European Gravitational Observatory near Pisa in Italy, where he is working on the Virgo Experiment.