Art by the Numbers

One of the perks of attending lots of fan conventions is the opportunity to meet and explore the work of new artists.

At this past ECCC I was lucky enough to stumble upon the artwork of Sienna Morris. She’s developed a style of art work she calls “Numberism”. Similar to how a pointillist will create an image by positioning hundreds of thousands of dots strategically on a page or canvas, Ms. Morris uses numbers relevant to the subject she is rendering.

The concept is difficult to explain with words alone, so I’ve included some images of her artwork (clicking on the images will take you directly to Sienna’s website)

This piece is titled “Fibonacci’s Snail” and was created using the Fibonacci Sequence of numbers, starting at the tightest point in the spiral and working its way out.

fibonaccis-snail-co

I know, right?! Simply incredible – not to mention gorgeous!

Each piece Ms. Morris creates requires time spent in advance researching and calculating the numbers (and occasional letters) she uses in the rendering process.

This next one is called “Locutus of Borg” and she ingeniously created the image of Locutus using Flocking Algorithms to represent the Borg Hive Mind as well as predator/prey calculations using Lanchester’s Laws formulae.

locutus1

She also included many of the famous Borg catch-phrases.

Look, when it comes to higher level maths in general, I don’t know diddly-squat, but the fact that Ms. Morris has taken such pains to add even greater depth of meaning to her already impressive artistic skill is just… amazeballs.

The last one I’m sharing with you here is titled “A Cello” and when she explained how she settled on the numbers she used to create this impressive piece I swear my brain melted a little from all of the awesome.

cello-co

To create the wood of the bow, she used the Pythagorean comma which is basically the difference between two pitches or tones (it’s used a lot in music theory). It’s essentially a quarter of a semi-tone. I’m not a mathematician and (even though I play the guitar) I never studied music theory, so I’m not going to attempt to dive into a deeper explanation. It’s just impressive.

But it gets even more impressive (and also a little bit insane). Check this out, peeps, the tuning pegs are drawn using the Twelfth Root of Two, an equation used in the calculation of pitch adjustment.

THEN, Ms. Morris went further and drew the strings using the HERTZ FREQUENCY OF THE NOTES. She actually sat down and calculated the rate of audible vibration for each note down the neck of the instrument for each string.

The coup de grace for me with this piece is the body of the cello itself. It is drawn with the numerical value for the speed at which sound travels parallel to the GRAIN of the WOOD. She represented three wood types, so that means three different rate of speed calculations.

I know… I know… MIND. BLOWN.

You can find out more about Sienna Morris and her artwork on her site FleetingStates.com.

Go there. Be impressed. Buy prints. Tell your friends.

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