Curated by Jacob Rhodes
Opening: Thursday Oct. 24th, 6-8pm
Dates: Oct. 24th - November
Field Projects is pleased to announce Show #16: Reciting Pi, a two person exhibition featuring the work of Julia Oldham and
Pi is the circumference of a circle divided by its diameter. It's a number with no pattern that seems to be infinite. It represents a complex abstraction that can span the universe. Math savants have long held competitions on recalling the numerical sequence of Pi-- cramming their memory banks with the patternless number. However only an idiosyncratic, highly creative narrative approach has produced the best results. Akira Haraguchi uses a system he developed, which assigns Kana symbols to numbers, allowing memorization of Pi as a collection of stories. Haraguchi recalled 100,000 digits over 16 hours. Observers describe the experience as something akin to the chanting of buddhist monks. A cacophony of numbers that Haraguchi describes as “The Religion of the Universe”.
The study of numbers and patterns, psychological spaces and philosophical sequences like the golden mean are all obsessions for the two artists in Show #16: Reciting Pi. Julia Oldham and Evan Reed each begin with a mechanical system and then twist it for their own poetic purposes. Although one uses the skills and craft of the wood shop and the other the technology of digital video, they arrive in the same mysterious realm of personal interpretation of natural phenomena.
Julia Oldham’s video Infinitely Impossible is a story of unrequited love between a woman and Infinity. The character engages in increasingly absurd experiments in order to achieve the infinite. A pen and triangle are used to map the logarithmic spiral, but to no avail. A mirror in a mirror almost allows a glimpse of infinity but she moves on to define the density of the center of a black hole with three loaves of white bread. Eventually she ends up in David Hilbert’s mathematical paradox: The Grand Hotel, drifting up and down in an elevator, unsure of which floor to find Infinity in a building with infinite floors.
Evan Reed’s Strasse Spiral is a sculpture that floats atop a wood trestle. Its smooth white form takes cues from the vernacular architecture of old world cities. The sculpture’s footprint begins with a golden mean curve and results in a work that is forever turning and slipping inward. Its interior channels suggest a deeper space than its actual dimensions contain. This is an architectural space not to house our physical shape but our psychological one. In Circumference, Reed takes a standard yardstick and meticulously cuts into its width at every inch. The kerfed ruler is then bent with steam into what could be described as a Woodshop Ouroboros with the 36th increment swallowing its 0 mark; leading the viewer to contemplate the cyclical nature of work, time, and our attempts to capture and measure such unfixed experiences.