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April 6th, 2014, 06:59 AM  #1 
Newbie Joined: Apr 2014 From: South Africa Posts: 1 Thanks: 0  Mathematical Art
Good day, I am in the process of constructing a multifaceted artwork, a component of which shall include mathematics. I believe a mathematics forum would be the correct place to find an individual passionate about the subject to assist me. On an open wall, I want to place 16 canvas blocks in a 4X4 layout. Utilising the two individuals the artwork is based on, they will each give me 4 positive and 4 negative emotions / personality traits they possess. Each of these traits will be 9 letters, so that each canvas has 3 rows of 3 letters (viability TBD). While the wall holds a pattern, which I think can be classed as mathematical, I am looking for a more complex mathematical pattern or representation. I am aware that a matrix can be in a similar shape to what I am looking but despite hours of research I have no clue what is going on. I am far from competent when it comes to mathematics. So here are my components:  16 canvasses  2 individuals  2 types of traits (positive, negative)  8 traits per individual  8 traits per type  If additional variables are required, I can add changes to text or canvas colour, amount of letters per word etc. I'm open to suggestions. What layout could I do to give the wall a story when it is presented to people? If the layout will have an equation, I will even consider painting it above the blocks. None of this is for any gain whatsoever, the entire project relies on passion for a given field. If I have posted in the incorrect section, please could a mod move it accordingly. Thanks in advance and I look forward to your replies! 
April 6th, 2014, 10:43 AM  #2 
Global Moderator Joined: Nov 2006 From: UTC 5 Posts: 16,046 Thanks: 937 Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms 
As I understand it you have a project with particular parameters and you want to do 'something' mathematical with it. I'll admit, nothing immediately jumps out at me. Or rather, nothing that quite fits the parameters. I can think of a lot of mathematical things that are similar. For example, if you had lots of people and a fixed number of traits (with a good number more people than traits) you could draw people with lines connecting people with the same traits (and thickness varying by the number of connections). Or cluster people together when the have the same traits (maybe pushing them further apart when they have opposite traits). Hmm. Since you're splitting it up by letter, maybe you could do the same kind of trick joining the letters, like Cristian Vasile did with the digits of pi: Flow Of Life Flow Of Pi Digital Art by Cristian Ilies Vasile Of course you need not connect them with lines like he did. You might, for example, lay out canvasses in a way that surrounding canvasses have at least one of the same letter touching, so that ABC DEF GHI could only have a canvas to its left if its topright letter was A, or its middleright letter was F, or its bottomright letter was I. Maybe that gives the work a kind of coherence and suggests a 'connection' between the people (if that's something you want to show). But maybe that idea is more poetic than mathematical, I don't know. Maybe that's appropriate, since it is mathematical poetry month after all. 
April 6th, 2014, 10:49 AM  #3 
Global Moderator Joined: Nov 2006 From: UTC 5 Posts: 16,046 Thanks: 937 Math Focus: Number theory, computational mathematics, combinatorics, FOM, symbolic logic, TCS, algorithms 
Incidentally, I wonder if your list of traits looks anything like Code: adaptable admirable agonizing agreeable ambitious apathetic arbitrary assertive brilliant charmless colorless conceited confident courteous deceitful deceptive dedicated demanding dependent desperate difficult dignified dishonest dissolute dissonant ebullient efficient emotional energetic enervated enigmatic excitable expedient faithless fanatical felicific forgetful forgiving frivolous glamorous graceless guileless hidebound honorable imitative impassive impatient imprudent impulsive incurious indulgent inhibited insincere insulting intuitive invisible irascible irritable knowledge leisurely malicious miserable misguided monstrous objective obnoxious observant obsessive oppressed organized outspoken patriotic political practical predatory realistic regretful religious repentant repressed resentful sarcastic scholarly secretive sedentary sensitive skeptical steadfast tasteless teacherly tractable unhealthy unhurried unlovable vivacious whimsical Last edited by CRGreathouse; April 6th, 2014 at 11:39 AM. 

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