Johannes Curtis Schwarzenstein (aka John Sims)[/caption] “SquareRoots: A Quilted Manifesto — A John Sims Project” explores the shared domain of visual art and mathematics through March 27, at the SCF Fine Art Gallery. The exhibition showcases John Sims’ latest math-inspired visual artifacts. These include 13 math/art quilts, nine dresses based on the number Pi; a blues composition based on Pi; and a video installation introducing Johannes Curtis Schwarzenstein, the Afro-German Jewish math-art poet. (And Sims’ alter ego.) As fans of Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land know, the connection between visual art and math is profound. For centuries, artists have been fascinated by (and created fascinating imagery from) such mysteries as the ratio of the Golden Rectangle, the Fibonacci Series behind every spiral form in nature, and, of course, Pi. (The number also known as π.) Strictly speaking, 3.14159… Well, it goes on. Forever actually. An irrational number at the heart of Western rationality. Math/artist John Sims, Pi is more than a fascination — it's close to an obsession. The irrational number pops up throughout this exhibition. The relationship between Pi and visual art is the spark igniting “Civil Pi,” Sims’ textile collaboration with local Amish quilters; it informs Sims’ series of Pi dresses examining and deconstructing the cult of couture; it also underlies the strategies of cultural revolution explained by Sims' Schwartzenstein persona in a multimedia video production. So. Why Pi? As the artist points out, “Pi is one of the few mathematical constants that have successfully entered the pop-culture psyche. It's a number that continues to stimulate and fascinate the human mind.” Pi fans will note that this art show coincides with the release of “31415,” Sims’ and Vi Hart's Pi-themed spoken word and hip-hop single track. The official release date is 3 /14/15. Otherwise known as Pi Day.
Square Roots: A Quilted Manifesto — A John Sims Project. Through March 27 at Fine Art Gallery at SCF Bradenton, 5840 26th St. W.; 752-5225.
John Sims dedicates this exhibition to the legacies of Kevin Dean, Kenny Drew Jr., Joanna Weber and Florence Tate.