Folding is rooted in the Japanese art of origami. It’s based on how one thing folds neatly into another and is a way of using geometry without numbers. The mathematics of origami is more robust than its Greek cousin, i.e., Euclidean geometry. It’s fascinating that with folding, a line can become a shape and more so, how a shape can become a 3D solid object (think of folding a piece of paper into a cube). In art, folding means a 2D object such as a painting or drawing can be transformed into a 3D object like sculpture. My projects are about showing objects mutating from one dimension into another—that things can exist in multiple dimensions at the same time, like a line turning into a shape which makes it 1 ½ dimensional!
The Projection of a Hilbert Space Onto a Hilbert Space is Itself a Hilbert Space was an installation commissioned by the project space HilbertRaum in Berlin in 2018. Hilbert space is a mathematical concept developed by German mathematician David Hilbert. It deals with the folding of a one-dimensional object, such as a line, into a two-dimensional plane or a two-dimensional plane into a three-dimensional solid. In German, Hilbert space literally translates to Hilbertraum.
Conceived as an educational experience within an exhibition, the project was built on site over the course of three weeks and highlighted the mathematics of Hilbert space that the wall drawings were based on. Each day, the shutters of the gallery would open automatically at 9 AM, allowing viewers to watch the work being created. Once a day, the gallery was opened and spectators, usually the students from a nearby school, were invited to help create the work and to hear an age-appropriate lecture about the mathematics behind the art. The drawings themselves were made with materials that were familiar to students, like chalk, pencils, and poster paint, which not only gave the exhibition space the feeling and smell of a classroom, it also gave younger students the opportunity to work with materials that they recognized and were comfortable using. The exhibition concluded with a video lecture from inside the exhibition about Hilbert space and broadcast on YouTube.