DESMA 9: Math + Art
DESMA 9: Math + Art
The most exciting aspects of our work on the beadwork team have been finding unexpected overlaps between the forms and shapes that leap from our hands to processes and structures from the natural world. Our methods of deconstructing our beadwork resemble the way the enzyme helicase unzips DNA, and our morphing surfaces take origami ideas to the study of metamaterials and analog computation. That we are studying these ideas in beads may sound odd, but not only does this study reflect the deep connection that human beings have with beads and beadwork, but beads (being individual units) fit perfectly with studies of the natural world as they easily stand in for numbers, pixels, atoms, or any smallest discrete unit of structure or calculation.
In this talk, I will show how we can physically build energy into beadwork, how repeating patterns or counts can combine into fantastically complex machines and objects of beauty, and how we have been able to enjoy living in a world based in creating art while still being able to contribute materially to scientific and mathematical exploration and discovery.
Kate McKinnon (she/they) is a researcher and co-founder of the UnLAB, a non-profit team currently based in Savannah, Georgia. The UnLAB is a multi-disciplinary group that seeks to develop and further ideas simply for the sake of learning. Current projects include advanced propulsion, the study of momentum and energy, aware architecture, human consciousness and QI (Questioning Intelligence, as opposed to AI, which stands for Artificial Intelligence). In addition to participating on the science teams, Kate leads the Contemporary Geometric Beadwork project, a ten year long open-source exploration of sewn beadwork that includes hundreds of thousands of beaders from diverse fields and hailing from over 30 countries. The team has published two books on the techniques they've developed to create geometric architecture and energetic forms, and they have a series of new books coming out soon showing a range of cycling linkages, morphing surfaces, and detailing their study of energetic lines, planes and forms.
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