Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Kinetic sculptures by Haruki Nakamura

Look at the photo a heart sculpture above, which is consists of closely interconnected gears. Although it seems that gears cannot move it is not. All of them can rotate around their respective centers, which your can see on a video below. Moving of gears are shown approximately on 50th second of the video but it's 

This kind of sculptures are called kinetic because all parts of them can move. It was created by Japanese engineer Haruki Nakamura and represented in 2005 with title Gear's Heart. Unfortunately, there's no any more information about him in the Internet except several images of his sculptures and few videos.

Also he created similar sculpture of cube, which you can see below.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fibonacci spiral in nature

Fibonacci spiral is a line, which is created by drawing arcs connecting the oppposite corners of the squares in Fibonacci tiling, which is constructed of squares whose sides are successive Fibonacci numbers in length.
Fibonacci tiling
Fibonacci spiral
Fibonacci spiral exists in many objects of wildlife. It's one ob the basic curve, which you can see in small shells of nautilus and even in spirals of galaxies.

Arrangement of seeds in sunflower is an example of Fibonacci spiral among plants.

Hurricane is one of the most destructive power on Earth.

You can see Fibonacci spiral even in shapes of galaxies.

Although Nautilus shell looks very similar to Fibinacci spiral, it does not. Ivars Peterson in his article Sea Shell Spirals proved this fact. Nevertheless, Nautilus shell is one of examples of fractals in nature.

Fibonacci spiral inspired some artist to use it in their artworks. Below you can see an artwork by Petar Milivojevic named Gaia's gift.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Fractal tilings

Fractal shapes can be used as tiles for filling plane. In most cases variations of the Koch snowlake are used. A simple Koch snowflake is represented to the right. To create a set of tiles, which can be used for filling whole plane, we need another variations of the snowlake which exactly match to all convexes and concaves of the first figure.

Two variations of such kind of tilings were represented on Briges 2008 conference, which took place in Leeuwarden (Holland). Both were realized in wood. We see that several kinds of fractal tiles were used in both cases. 

Koch tiling by Edmund Harris

Pentagonal Koch tiling by Chaim Goodman-Strauss

More mathematical issues about fractal tiles you can read in the article about Rauzy fractal.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Abstract creations by Vladimir Bulatov

Vladimir Bulatov creates very complex and wonderful abstract bronze sculptures. Shapes of sculptures are based on Platonic solids, but they represent another view on these classic polyhedrons. All figures were designed using classical ideas of balance and symmetry. These abstract forms express geometric aesthetic and beauty of shapes.

The photo above shows five interconnected tetrahedrons, so they are look like a single complex closed shape. Other figures by Vladimir Bulatov are based on single Platonic shape, e.g. dodecahedron or icosahedron. or more complex Archimedian solid.
Dodecahedron IX (Small Stellated Dodecahedron)

Dodecahedron VII (Great Dodecahedron)

Dodecahedron VII (Great Dodecahedron)

Rhombic Triacontahedron IV

Visit his site to see more wonderful sculptures or, maybe, to buy them.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Tessellations of David Bailey

M.C. Escher was the first, who used figures of birds, fishes, lizards and other animals for artistic regular plane division. Many followers then created numerous tessellation images.

One of them is artist from England David Bailey. He creates his images in pen and watercolour.

The main motifs of his tessellations are birds.

The more complex constructions come in, when two distinct motifs are used in conjunction with each other.

Besides usual animals David Bailey uses imaginary creatures to create his wonderful artworks. Below you can see dinosaur-like creatures. The main distinguishing feature of this drawing is that only part of the image was used for animals, when other space shows only borders of elementary tiles. It helps to better understand, which kind of symmetry was used in every case.

Also he created several artworks, which reminds Escher's artworks with mutable tessellations like Metamorphoses. The image below shows the same process as in Escher's lithograph Development I. But David Bailey used birds as motif for his artwork instead of Escher's lizards.

The reverse process is shown in the image below.
More images by David Bailey you see at his personal site Besides this you you read some articles about tessellation art and Escher's artworks.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fractal waves

On the image above we see artwork "The Great Wave off Kanagawa" by Japanese artist Hokusai, which was published in 1832 as the first in Hokusai's series 36 Views of Mount Fuji. It depicts an enormous wave threatening boats near the Japanese prefecture of Kanagawa; Mount Fuji can be seen in the background. The main reason of publishing this artwork here is highly detailed painted wave. As we know, some artworks, which are close to fractal images by detailed elaboration, were created long before the inventing fractals by Benoît Mandelbrot. Sea waves can be represented by many types of fractals, as you can see below.
Fractal artworks with waves are created by modern artists too. For example, Robert Fathauer depicted a wave fractal with Escher-like fish tiling in his artwork "Fractal Fish - Grouped Groupers" (2001).
Also, a wave with horses figures are depicted on the cover of English rock group Keane "Under The Iron Sea" (2006).

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Menger sponge

As the Sierpinski carpet is a generalization of the Cantor set from one dimension into two dimension, the Menger sponge is a generalization of the Sierpinski carpet into three dimensions. Sometimes this three-dimensional fractal called Menger-Sierpinski sponge or Sierpinski sponge. It was first described by Austrian mathematician Karl Menger in 1926.

Like the Sierpinski carpet begins from square, Menger sponge begins from cube. Every face of the cube is divided into 9 smaller squares. This operation divide the cube into 27 smaller cubes. Then center cubes from all faces and the inner center cube are removed, leaving 20. This is a level 1 Menger Sponge. The next levels forms by repeating these steps to all 20 cubes rest. Below you can see first four levels.

Below you can see the Menger sponge with cut off corner, which was designed by Seb Przd.

There's also similar three-dimensional fractal based on tetrahedron, which is a generalization of the Sierpinski triangle into three dimensions. Below, you can see two versions of the Sierpinski pyramid and the Menger sponge in a single image.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Impossible triangle by Hans de Koning

Today I received a postage with new wooden work by Hans de Koning. It's a flat contruction of traditional Penrose tribar contructed from three kinds of wood.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Sierpinski carpet

The image above we see a portrait of Wacław Sierpiński, which was created by a student of Oberlin College Andrew Pike. It reminds us zoomed newspaper photos, when we can see particular dots of various size. But it's unusual image, because every element in it is not a simple dot, but one of several generations of the Sierpinski carpet fractal, which was first described by Wacław Sierpiński in 1916.

The forming of the Sierpinski carpet is like to forming of the Sierpinski triangle fractal, because the next generation of the fractal sets up by cutting removing elements from the source shape. Generation of the Sierpinski carpet begins from the square. Then it being divided into nine rectangles, and the center rectangle removed. This procedure continues for each of eight rest squares. You can see several first generations of the fractal on the image below.

Andrew Pike used two series of several generations of the fractal. The one series began from the black color, and another from white. He designed a computer program, which divided a photo of Wacław Sierpiński into squares of various values of grey color. To avoid strong color changing he used dithering technique.

So, the inventor of the fractal was pictured with his fractal.

The Sierpinski carpet is a two dimensional generalization of the one dimensional fractal Cantor dust. Also, there's generalization of the Sierpinski carpet into three dimensions, which named Menger sponge.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Escher's favorite building

A tower with very unusual shape in Beijing (China) will be completed for the Olympic games 2008. It's new China Central Television Tower (CCTV). It seems, that this building cannot exist in the our world, because it consists of two leaning towers, which are joined by a bridge with corner shape. The whole shape of the building seems like deformed square donut.

In 2002 two architects from Holland Rem Koolhaas and Ole Scheeren won an international competition for the CCTV tower and the project broke ground in September 2004. The project is even more complex because Beijing lies in an earthquake zone, and the tower is full of technical challenges.

Escher could like this paradoxical building of his fellow countrymen.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Wood work by Hans de Koning

Today I received a postage with wood work by Hans de Koning (see above). The shapes of the most of his works are based on impossible figures. His works are flat, but he uses different kinds of wood to make three-dimensional effect. Wood planks with different hues imitate sides slope and opacity of the impossible figure.

You can see more his work in his Picasa album and at the site Impossible World.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Fractal trees

Some time ago we have talked about Pythagoras tree, which represents simple fractal structure consisting of squares. Also, there are many variations of fractal trees, which are consist of lines and curves.

The three-dimensional fractal tree above is constructed from lines. It belongs to L-system class of fractals. Associated as trunk and branches brown lines of the tree are elements of low generations of the fractal. Green lines are elements of higher generations of the fractal. They remind us leafs. So, the whole fractal structure resembles real tree.

The rainbow fractal Julius tree below was crated with help of the computer program Fractal Imaginator. The tree reminds rounded Pythagoras tree, where squares were replaced to thin rectangles. The tree fractal can be created not only with help of straight lines or rectangles, but also with help of curves and spirals. Below, you can see a title for the High School Course "Gödel, Escher, Bach: A Mental Space Odyssey" by Justin Curry and Curran Kelleher, where curved fractal tree is used. The spiral was chosen as base element for this fractal, which gives many elegant curls.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Hilbert curve

Hilbert curve is a continuous fractal space filling curve, which was first described by German mathematician David Hilbert in 1891. Below you can see 5 first steps of the plane Hilbert curve.

But the Hilbert curve looks more interesting if it represent in three dimensions. Carlo H. Séquin, a professor of Berkley, created a small 5" metal sculpture of Hilbert curve, which he called "Hilbert 512". You can see it below.

It was also be modeled by Torolf Sauermann in the program Maxwell renderer. Below, you can see the second step of the three-dimensional Hilbert curve and two versions of cubic Hilbert curve.