Jane Bright Project 3
In this project we designed a sculpture to enhance an outdoor space on Denison’s campus. I chose a space outside the Olin science building and designed a sculpture that incorporates mathematics into a visually appealing piece of art.
My statue is a stacking of the first four layers of a menger sponge, which is a 3D fractal, or an object that repeats itself down to smaller and smaller scales. The first layer of the fractal is a solid cube. The second layer splits the cube into 27 smaller cubes by splitting each face into 9 squares like a Rubik’s cube and removes the the center cube from each face, and the very central cube. The next layer then takes each of the remaining smaller cubes and repeats the same process of splitting them into even smaller cubes and removing the center of each face and the cube at the very center. For the fractal this process continues on each smaller scale an infinite number of times.
I chose to create a sculpture of this fractal because I wanted to connect something with mathematical complexity and intrigue with a visual and artistic medium, and have it enhance a space outside of the building the houses the math and computer science department. I think often when we think of math we think of lifeless number crunching, so I wanted to create something that went beyond that and could help represent some of the beauty of mathematics.
I stacked the layers of the fractal in a spiral going upward. I wanted to reference the fact that the fractal pattern keeps building on itself and goes on forever. I liked the shape of a rising spiral because I think it indicates a feeling of onward and upward, like an ever rising spiral staircase, and the spiral creates its own repeating and never ending pattern. I also wanted it to represent the fact that math and science always builds off itself, and to do things that are more complex you must first have a solid base to build from. I also wanted it to reflect that same feeling for us as students of the university. We are always building ourselves upward, gaining new knowledge and skills, and solving more complicated problems. We are always advancing and growing, and that advancement can keep building forever, just as the sculpture implies.
I think the square patterns of the sculpture complement the building which is itself made of brick rectangles, but also enhances the shape and makes it more intriguing than just perfectly stacked right angles.
The sculpture is designed to be 3 meters tall with each cube being 3/4 meter by 3/4 meter. The material for the sculpture is steal to give a dull grey color. This sculpture will be heavy and not centrally balanced, so it will need a way to be bolted or somehow connected to the ground as to not tip over.
This can also be found on Thingiverse