Saturday, October 9, 2010

The Art of Folding Paper

Stumbled upon this documentary on Netflix, Between the Folds. It's fascinating. I highly recommend seeing it.
Filmmaker Vanessa Gould takes you on a provocative odyssey into the mesmerizing world of modern origami, where artists and scientists use the ancient art form to craft works of delicate beauty and to model cutting-edge mathematical theories. Pushing the envelope of origami to include caricatured portraits and elaborate abstract designs, these experts examine how paper folding can reveal the profound connection between art, science and philosophy.
It sparked a long-forgotten memory, lost in the necessity of day-t0-day demands of current circumstances.

I love math.

Few people know that about me.

It started with pop-up books. I remember when I was three years old, or four, sitting on the floor in the children's book section of a large department store, looking at the magic of a pop-up book, and closing my eyes, imagining what the shapes would look like if I took them off the page and laid them flat, and wondering if I could put it all back together to work again.

I loved the fun of learning math. I've loved solving those little puzzles of number logic since I was in elementary school first learning the rules of the game. So black and white. Either your solution was wrong or it was right. But rewarding when it was right. A game.

I remember one Jr. High math teacher, who fancied herself an inventor, who could explain an algebra problem in several different ways until nearly all the students understood, one way or another. We caught her enthusiasm for algebra and learned that it could be practical and not just theoretical.

Later in high school I found such a sense of accomplishment at completing a complex proof of a theorem, proving a truth through a series of logical steps, or explaining a complex trigonometry shape with a formula of numbers and letters. But these were always private victories because what girl brags about that to their friends. Not cool. Such a geek.

Then came a fascination with Tessalations, then fractals, and on to scherenschnitte (paper-cutting) and then quiltmaking. The folding, bending, reflecting, matching, and snipping and cutting, and then the recombining, repeating, rotating, seeing it come together in new and intricate and interesting ways.

Art and math.

Wanting to continue on in the same vein I chose Graphic Design as a, and possibly beauty, explained mathematically through the Golden mean and the Fibonacci series and more. To take line and shape and make something beautiful and meaningful and useful. Visual explanations that communicate on several levels. And then came web design where math and code is what underlies some beautiful digital work.

Now today, I'm inspired by this documentary on Origami, and paper folding. Math can be explained through art. Art can be explained by math. The color, the feel of the paper, the old-fashioned work of hands...making something dimensional from a flat 2-dimensional plane.

Hmm, maybe it's time for a new hobby.


Photo credit

1 comment:

  1. I can't believe how much we have in common. Art and Math . . .


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