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Customs House Museum, Clarksville, TN

December 22, 2004-February 20, 2005

 [Hopkinsville Community College] [Downtown Artists Cooperative]



Math and Science Make Art in “From the Heart” at Customs House Museum


Clarksville , TN Modern mathematics and classic photographic chemistry meet to produce art in “From the Heart: Photos of Livingston-Dunn and Musgjerd,” featuring digital images created by Connie Livingston-Dunn based on fractal geometry and platinum photographs by Robert Musgjerd. The exhibit opens at Customs House Museum & Cultural Center in downtown Clarksville on December 22. The public is invited to an artists reception on Thursday, January 27 from 5-7 pm .


Livingston-Dunn’s colorful, dynamic, digital images are based on the mathematical formulas of fractal geometry. Fractals are the geometry of nature and natural forms, and reveal a hidden order underlying the seemingly chaotic events of the universe through repeating patterns with endless variation of forms throughout scale changes. Unlike most areas of mathematics which were developed centuries ago, research on fractals is being carried out now by mathematicians all over the world. The formulas behind fractal geometry that are the basis for the art Livingston-Dunn creates were first developed by Gaston Julia and Pierre Fatou in 1918, and advanced by Benoit Mandelbrot in 1980 with the aid of computers.


Accompanying Livingston-Dunn’s “high-tech” fractal images are the platinum photographic prints of Robert Musgjerd. Musgjerd, a self-taught photographer, specializes in large format photography featuring still life compositions and portraits of people in their own environments. Musgjerd prints his images using the method of platinum/palladium printing, a process renowned for its delicate tonal scales, which has existed nearly as long as photography. During the late 1800s and early 1900s, commercially produced platinum papers were widely available, but beginning with the onset of World War I, the platinum family metals became hard to get in the United States and the paper was imported from Europe . The paper has not been available commercially since around 1941, and printers currently working with the process must mix the chemicals and apply them to the paper by hand. The process itself may be manual and “low-tech,” but the resulting prints are beautiful and possess high archival stability.    




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