minimalism

Mathematics is the language of nature. This means that algorithms are involved in the creation of everything that lives, twists, swirls or simply stands on the surface of the world and beyond.

There’s a core of everything too, and a shape of everything, just like there is a shape of nothing, an all-encompassing shape in which everything so perfectly and gracefully fits. Knowing this is what makes understanding minimalism possible. Because shapes come from shapes evolving into shapes, and the more successful a pattern is, the more likely its natural replication becomes.

Many of the neurons in the visual part of the brain respond specifically to edges orientated in a certain direction. From this, the brain builds up the shape of an object.

The Science Museum in London, feeds us this bit of useful data: Many of the neurons in the visual part of the brain respond specifically to edges orientated in a certain direction. From this, the brain builds up the shape of an object. Information about the features on the surface of an object, like colour and shading, provide further clues about its identity. Objects are probably recognised mostly by their edges, and faces by their surface features. This means that, much like the mental short cuts our brain takes when understanding words, in the case of images too, we function from simple to complicated, understanding edges and shapes first. Amongst others, the neurologist Oliver Sacks also approached shape perception, when confronted with a patient who mistook his wife for a hat. In that particular example, the patient – who suffered from visual agnosia – had trouble recognising the surface features that differentiated people from other people, or even from inanimate objects.

In the case of a healthy human being, the normal way of looking at things applies, so that from shapes and edges patterns emerge. And because these patterns emerge, short cuts emerge with them, allowing us to see a shape in a cloud, for instance.

Let’s try a simple exercise of understanding minimalism: three images of carved fruit were used to create imagined covers of known children books. Have a look at the covers and try your luck at guessing which works they refer to:

1:

2:

Veggie figurine from http://www.artglass-pottery.com

3:

Elephant veggie figurine found at http://www.annabelkarmel.com

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