Mathematics and Arts, as languages, conceptual technology, and philosophy not only play a foundational role in our understanding of physical reality, but also shape human the essence of creativity. The mathematical instinct, which moves fluidly across the various elements of nature and human culture, leaves convincing evidence, from bee hives to quilting circles, that mathematics, art and community are profound partners in the search for truth, beauty and spirit.
But when mathematics and art-parameters of human cognition- are quilted together as Mathematical Art, structure and spirit meet in a metaphysical communion of heightened vision. Multimedia artist, John Sims, has curated over 15 mathematical art shows, including the year long exhibition: Rhythm of Structure: Mathematics, Art and Poetic Reflection, featuring Sol Lewitt, Adrian Piper, Karen Finley, and Dread Scott, and has created signature project, SquareRoots: A Quilted Manifesto – a collection of 13 math art quilts, five Pi dresses, a 12 bar blues based on Pi, The Pi Anthem Music Video and a concrete mathart video poem performed by my alter ego- Johannes Curtis Schwarzenstein, the AfroGermanJewishMathArtPoet.
Rhythm of Structure: Mathematics, Art and Poetic Reflection, a series of nine one month shows organized by conceptual artist John Sims, at the Bowery Poetry Club in New York City in 2009/10. The shows focused on the visual language of mathematical ideas and process exploring a spectrum of themes from geometric landscapes to the socio-political. To stimulate a dialogue around the use of structure and promote reflection via the poetic lens…
Recoloration Proclamation, a 16-year multimedia project, explores the complexity of identity, cultural appropriation and visual terrorism through Confederate iconography and the use of African-American culture. This project features recolored Confederate flags, and performative installations such as, The Proper Way to Hang a Confederate Flag, music project The AfroDixieRemixes, and the annual Burn and Bury Confederate Flag Memorial Day event. Element of this work have spread all over the country including to major cities such as: Oakland, Des Moines, Detroit, Orlando, Gettysburg, New York City and Martha’s Vineyard.
TimeScuplture is a collection of twenty-three objects: vases, chess sets, clocks and chairs that tell a story about space, conflict, time and relationships. These objects are codes that employ concepts of order, symmetry, connectivity and cycles to investigate a range of ideas from spatial order to human development. Twelve of the objects form the basis of TimeSculptureNYC, which will be placed in a circular path in publicly accessible venues in New York City. Each object will be webcammed in to a motion graph poetry piece that will be broadcast over the Internet. The complete installation of twenty-three objects will be extended across the United States, where they will be linked by a specially tailored communication system. TimeSculpture, in situ, becomes a collection of transformations that allows one to travel across abstract spaces, timezones, cultural stratifications and diverse geographies witnessing the richness of variations and the density of connections that characterize the evolving power and presence of globalization and the seductive search for the universal.
The SquareRoot of Love, first appeared in New York City, in 2010, in a duet installation and associated performance with the artist John Sims and Karen Finley, and has since traveled to various cities, engaging the ideas of love through art, poetry, performance, food and drink. Last year, John Sims brought the project to Paris in a series of events featuring a wine tasting, a film screening and poetry readings at the Berkeley Books in Paris. In 2018, a dual exhibition was organized in both New York City and Paris, featuring over 20 poets and performers.
ImageTextSound is a collection of over 20 video poems that combine animation, motion graphics, original text and music to create an experimental poetic experience. The themes are very diverse; from Pi- Day Anthem and In the Hood (a Trayvon Martin tribute) to SquareRoot of Animation, that is in both English and French.
This project is inspired by a return to Detroit, my hometown after a long time away and returning to see the decay and desolation in my neighborhood. This prompted me to write an essay, which turned into a video poem music video, D-City Blues. This all lead to the Sorrento: My Block, a collection of portraiture copper prints of each of the remaining houses on my block (30 in all ). This work also include a memory book of photos the different families on the block during the 80’s and 90’s. The 30 prints, the video poem and memory form the complete Sorrento exhibition. This project celebrates the houses of the block and all of the memories and stories they hold.
The poem D-City Blues poem has been selected to be in the forthcoming book edited by M.L. Liebler, I Just Wanna Testify: Poems About Detroit Music to be published in Fall 2018 by The Michigan State University Press.