GCC Staff Member has Math Based Art in Art Center Exhibition

Friday, September 30, 2022
Phiris ring image

Kerry Mitchell, Director of Research at GCC, has had his math-inspired art piece selected for the Shemer Art Center’s “Geometric Repetitions” exhibition.  The event features pieces that demonstrate the various geometric patterns that occur in math, science, textiles, nature, and everyday life. The selected works are from a variety of media and are unique in perspective, offering new meaning to repetition and pattern.

Kerry’s piece, called Phiris, is amalgamation of the words “Phi” and “iris” and is based on his love of math along with his fascination on how math can influence art and music. While Kerry uses calculus, statistics, and probabilities as part of his daily research responsibilities, he has devoted years to cultivating a unique way to create abstract art using formulas such as Fibonacci numbers.

The "Phiris," image is composed of eight rings of sine waves, each laid out along a circle. The frequencies of the waves are Fibonacci numbers, The ratio of two subsequent Fibonacci numbers approaches the value of Phi - also called the Golden Ratio. Since Phi is an irrational number, the rings of waves never line up exactly, but the image shows lighter areas where rings come close to reinforcing each other and darker areas where they come close to canceling each other. Taken together, the uneven waviness is reminiscent of the detailed pattern in the iris of an eye.