From September 21, 2012 to January 27, 2013, the BGC presents The Islands of Benoît Mandelbrot: Fractals, Chaos, and the Materiality of Thinking in the Focus Gallery. Curated by Visiting Assistant Professor Nina Samuel and students, the exhibition focuses primarily on the work of Benoît Mandelbrot (1924–2010), one of the most notable mathematicians of the twentieth century, and the role of images in scientific thinking.
At right are three films featured in the exhibition:
Top: Former IBM programmer Mark R. Laff discusses working with Benôit Mandelbrot and the pursuit of mathematical knowledge through visualization.
Center: This video features animations of jagged objects that Mandelbrot would later call “fractals” in 1975. The intertitle, “The Island of Dr. Mandelbrot” alludes to the famous H. G. Wells fantasy novel The Island of Dr. Moreau. This deliberate reference to science fiction suggests a connection between Mandelbrot and a long line of scientists who had been seen as godlike, creator figures.
Bottom: Florian Grond’s digital media presentation reflects on the role of drawing in non-linear science—connecting performativity, space, and creative thought processes.
Click on the thumbnails to watch the videos.
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