Graphica Art in New York Digital Salon Exhibit
November 6, 2000--A Mathematica image by computer
Michael Trott has been selected for exhibition in the Eighth New
York Digital Salon. The digital print, entitled Extruded Hilbert Curve
over a Charged Hexagonal Truchet Pattern, is a colorful, composite
of a complex fractal overlaying a randomly generated pattern. However,
this description does not begin to convey the vibrancy and complexity of
the resulting design.
The image was created using Mathematica and is reliant upon that
program's deep understanding of symbolic and numerical mathematics for its
intricacy and intrinsic beauty. A Hilbert curve is a plane-filling curve,
meaning that at its limit the generated curve approaches every point in a
specified plane arbitrarily close. In Trott's design, the entire curve was
then extruded into a third dimension and rounded outwards through the
midsection to achieve the desired result.
In contrast to the complicated nature of a Hilbert curve, a Truchet
pattern is based on a very simple premise. If you take a square and draw
two quarter circles around diagonally opposing vertices, only two unique
orientations exist. When multiple such squares with randomly selected
orientations are combined into a tiling pattern, a unique, organic pattern
that is random and yet retains an underlying structure is created. This
same principle can be applied using hexagons instead, as Trott did
here, to introduce additional possible orientations and a more intricate
pattern. The resulting hexagonal Truchet lines are then "electrically
charged," and the resulting equipotential lines are shown in the
The New York Digital Salon exhibit opened today and will run through
December 9 in the Visual Arts Museum in New York City. It will also be
shown internationally beginning in January 2001 in both physical and
lecture form. Last year's exhibit traveled to Spain, England, Italy,
China, and Japan and received extensive media coverage. The physical
exhibit is accompanied by a website and a show
catalog, which include scheduling information, artwork images, artists'
statements, and selected essays. The catalog is a special edition of
Leonardo, the leading journal to address the application of
contemporary science and technology to the arts.
Extruded Hilbert Curve is also a featured image in the
Graphica book series.
Graphica, released last year, is a two-volume collection of unique
and unusual color illustrations created using Mathematica by Trott and
fellow artist Igor Bakshee. In conjunction with the Digital Salon exhibit, the
series is currently on sale as a special promotion through the
This is not the first time Trott's work has received widespread exposure. In
March, the Director of Art Programming for the city of West Hollywood
contacted Trott and Bakshee about using the Graphica images as part of a
public service announcement on a digital billboard over Hollywood's Sunset
Strip. The City Commissioner thought the artwork was "simply beautiful" and
approximately 30 Graphica images have now been on display as brief
animations since August of last year.