Tag Archives: geometry

Tempelhof Airport _ Statement III _ and a Thank You

Berlin’s Tempelhof Airport, famous for its use during the Berlin Airlift of 1948, has been preserved and converted into a public park,
virtually unchanged in its landscape from when it was a functional airport.
It is an amazing public resource and a rare expansiveness in an urban setting; it reminds me of a mini-version of the American Great Plains
with the unobstructed views, open sky and flat, flat, flatness.
This was quite a contrast to the drama of the Himalayas
and the decoction of crowdedness and chaos
I experienced throughout India.

Samuel Nigro, Berlin, Tempelhof, Great CircleSamuel Nigro, Berlin, Tempelhof, Great CircleSamuel Nigro, Berlin, Tempelhof, Great CircleSamuel Nigro, Berlin, Tempelhof, Great CircleSamuel Nigro, Berlin, Tempelhof, Great Circle

During my three months in Berlin, I took to riding my bike around Tempelhof Airport almost everyday, coasting over the gentle rise and fall of terrain, up and down the runways and around and around the grounds without touching the handlebars for long, extended periods, and this free flow wandering in wide open space helped spur on my thoughts for Statement III, a piece of writing
I promised to publish in a previous post when I arrived in Berlin from India, in June 2014. 

However, Statement III still eludes me.

Below are five rough drafts. The first four are links to previous posts on this blog:

1. How to break a stone – in five easy steps.

2.a) Love G.I.T. – part I
2.b) Love G.I.T. – part II

3. Heutegesternmorgenwelt – a series:

a) Bread, Granite and Heutegesternmorgenwelt
b) Heutegesternmorgenwelt Resolved (Three Birds of Different Orders)
c) To Walk, To Mime … (Heutegesternmorgenwelt REDUX)

4.a) Three Stones from Three Cities – part 1
4.b) Three Stones from Three Cities – part 2

and

The fifth is a new attempt and a product of my Tempelhof Airport bike riding:

5. The Great Circle (Statement III – a rough draft):

As a young boy, I often imagined a line extending perpendicular from my direction of travel, going all the way around the planet and coming back perpendicularly to my other side, creating a giant ring around the globe, a Great Circle in the parlance of geometry, and, by definition, always concentric with the earth. Part of the excitement was to imagine the ring in its entirety, and go further and imagine that this Great Circle was attached to me, was me, and would move effortlessly with me, around and around our planet, hugging the surface of the earth in whatever way I could imagine. What it saw, I saw – what it felt, I felt – what it experienced, I experienced the same.

I varied the properties of this line by imagining it as different fantasy materials of varying thicknesses and flexibilities – so, I determined when it remained ridged, ignoring all the complexity of the planet and sweeping out perfect arcs of perfect circles and shaving the globe to a perfect sphere; or, I would loosen it up so it moved over only a specific topology like the hard earth crust or then include other objects and mold itself around just animals, or just people, just trees, plants, insects, just homes, buildings, structures; or, I’d make it so thin, so malleable that it conformed to different degrees of detail, zipping over complicated surfaces, effortlessly, conforming to every nook and crag, every flake, scale and leaf, every pebble, glop and glump, tuft, tassel and clump, every marble or toy, every detail and deeper, deeper detail still, sometimes skimming over water, sometimes conforming to every ripple, sometimes hugging the land and descending to the bottom of every depression, every lake, ocean and stream, every pool, every puddle, every bowl of soup, every cup of hot chocolate, every glass half empty or glass half full. As a boy, I figured that in principle my line could even conform down to the microscopic level, and this made me dizzy, as did interior spaces – they were difficult to imagine, too. Nevertheless, even knowing this abstract geometry existed and as I played to maintain harmonious and fluid motion between my mind and The Great Circle, I imagined being everywhere, always, at the same time: a total impossibility, and fun while it lasted, because …

By the age of 12 or so, I forgot about this thought exercise, this fantasy, really, and moved on: life demanded it. Life got more complicated, thinking complex – strategic designs varied with more teachers, more rules, more guidance; more religion, more grist for agreement and quests for influence, more ideology, more ingredience. Yet, my ability for abstraction both grew and became more focused, more refined. I mean: ‘x’ taking the place of a number in an equation is quite abstract; the tangent of ‘x’ even more so. In short, life and school and communication got more specific in its content and demanding in the way one must, inevitably, engage – and thinking about what was in my immediate purlieu began to dominate.

This Great Circle, this thought experiment, represents a framework of wonder and inquiry of a young boy, a method of investigation, a mode of thinking about his surroundings, an epistemological stance, if you will. I am now using a different method that includes a visual and physical manipulation of material, which marries this curiosity of the boy with all that he was taught and with all that he experienced along with the specific theme of breaking and placing stone, its movement and action, their opposites and the many gradations in between – which now serves as my present framework of discovery and of wonder and inquiry.

With the highlighting of these 5 rough drafts of Statement III, I need to shift my attention
away from this blog and the Internet machine for a while
and devote more concentrated time and effort in other, deeper directions – specifically, toward the work I furthered in India,
Cairns – Shards – Pieces – and, as this work proceeds,
Statement III will inevitably evolve.

I’m not disappearing from this digital land but my intention is to not post on this blog for a while and … well … I’ll let you know what’s next. Its brewing.
Sign up for my newsletter, because then you will be sure
to stay current. 

Thank you for your readership.

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Filed under Art, Geology, Geometry, Sculpture, Story

my most nostalgic post so far …

Horoballs and Tsvietkova

Horoballs (note: all the spheres are tangent to the z-plane) and Anastasiia Tsvietkova

Anastasiia Tsvietkova – Hyperbolic Structures from Link Diagrams

Anastasiia Tsvietkova – Hyperbolic Structures from Link Diagrams

14 prime knots with 7 crossings

14 prime knots with 7 crossings

I lucky got the chance to go to the last Geometry and Topology Seminar at CUNY Graduate center on December 11th right before the holidays. It was a treat.

Anastasiia Tsvietkova of Louisiana State University presented her dissertation entitled Hyperbolic Structures from Link Diagrams.
Rooted in knot theory and geometric topology, she builds upon W. Thurston’s Hyperbolization Theorem,
which demonstrates that every link in a 3-sphere is

a torus link,
a satellite link
or a hyperbolic link

and these three categories are mutually exclusive. That just SOUNDS satisfying.

Her dissertation lays out an alternative way to compute the hyperbolic link in a 2-DIMENSIONAL PROJECTION.

That deserves a “WOW!”

I enjoyed the talk very much, even though much of the math was over my head.
The fact that the whole lecture only dealt with 3-dimensions made it easier.
I, at least, understood what was at stake and enjoyed following
the structure of the argument.
You can read her paper.

The bottom line:

The lecture got me to open my Knot Theory book and
revisit my drawings of hyperbolic paraboloidal shapes
from Calculus III,

because knot theory is fun and I enjoy calculus.

Hyperbolic Paraboloids from Calc III

Hyperbolic Paraboloids from Calc III

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How to break a stone – in five easy steps.

1. Move your mind:

example:

• Is the breaking of stone (or any material or space, for that matter) catastrophic or transformational? How is the view of the break changed when – additionally or solely – labeled “creative,” or “purposeful,” or “random,” or “predictable,” or “warranted,” or “gratuitous,” or “liminal,” or “signified?” (… to list a few common viewpoints) What are the criteria to judge such a label?

• What is the level of tragedy that is depicted in a specific break; or is the depiction a revolution, a rupture, or a salvation – however necessary, temporary or unexpected? How mediated would these outcomes be?

• More generally, What is the characteristic of the conflict that sustains the action, allowing it to be carried out – or is it really about an emergence of cooperation among various forcings?

• How can an initial read of the basic forms and actions that I deal with be reconciled with the deep geologic time and the wide historic import of stone and be brought into an epistemological rather than just a phenomenological discussion – and, really, how can the seriousness of these questions include a comic and humorous framework because of the unique demands of the human psyche?

• How does one move beyond the break – and beyond the tragic, the revolutionary, the ruptured, or the saved; the label, the criteria, the judgment: and to what end? Is there even an end (!?) and, if so, how strategic is it?

2. Move your body:

           example:

.
3. Repeat steps 1 and 2until the right stone presents itself.

4. Repeat steps 1 and 2 with chosen stoneuntil the method becomes clear.

5. Break.

I’m currently on step 3.

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Happy Thanksgiving and Gratitude List of 12

In the United States, yesterday was Thanksgiving – a time where Americans meet over a meal for fellowship, connection and community.
I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving – and I hope everyone can find something to be grateful for.

It’s been a few weeks since I posted, because I’ve been planning a 6-month trip out of the country for perhaps the largest art project I’ve ever done.
I’m not ready to make it public, but stay tuned. I’ll announce soon, and if you want insider info:
join my mailing list, http://eepurl.com/norTf
and be sure to follow this blog
so you can follow
my progress.

This post is about gratitude. I’ve done so much over the last few months and I feel grateful for all that has transpired and I’ll like to share some of it with you.
In keeping with the main purpose of this blog, my list of 12 items below is a small window into some of what I’ve been curious about.
Make sure you go all the way to the end, because there’s a clue to my 6-month project that I’ll announce soon…

Can you guess what I’ll be doing soon?

Rachel Uffner GalleryRachel Uffner Gallery1. Opening – Anya Kielar: WOMEN; Rachel Uffner Gallery, New York, NY.

Rachel Uffner Gallery is a great gallery in the Lower Eastside and I am always amazed by the amount of art
that she gets into such a small space … and it always looks good.
.

Global Attractor and Messoud Efendiev2. Attended – Finite and infinite dimensional attractors for porous medium equations, Messoud Efendiev; ANALYSIS SEMINAR, Courant Institute, NYU.

Part of Prof. Efendiev’s lecture set out to show how you know whether a global attractor, a concept in chaos theory, was unique.
He pointed out – with great enthusiasm – that you first have to prove its existence! awesome, just awesome.
.

Teresita Fernandez3. Opening – Teresita Fernandez: Night Writing; Lehmann Maupin Gallery, New York, NY.

Like the simplicity … fan.
.

Bryan Osbrun painting4. Opening – Bryan Osburn; Jason McCoy Gallery, New York, NY.

I’ve followed Bryan’s work for years and his painting has grown and changed in wonderful ways!
.

The Kitchen5. Attended – The Kitchen L.A.B.: Shannon Jackson, Elad Lassry, Tere O’Connor and Lynne Tillman; The Kitchen, New York, NY.

A discussion about the perils of understanding one’s present moment and not being subject to forces of objectification, intellectual tyranny and the mediated presence. My gloss: How can you express a unique presence? How can you describe it? How can you know it? The presenters made some post-modern moves and expressed the way they each dealt with these issues in their own art practice. All very slippery stuff … stuff I struggle with in my own art.
.

Alan Weinstein6. Attended – Microlocal analysis over the Maslov cycle, Alan Weinstein; Geometric Analysis and Topology Seminar, Courant Institute, NYU.

This lecture just blew me out of the water. The cutting edge of pure mathematics: You don’t get more abstract than this!
Will tackle this lecture in another post.
.

Samuel Nigro Cardboard Volume7. Made a bunch of these. They are cardboard volumes, 88 x 20 x 20” representing a volume of granite that would weigh 2 tons. You’ll see more of these soon.
.

Mark Dagley Red and Black Triangle

8. Opening – Mark Dagley: Structural Solutions; Minus Space, Brooklyn, NY.

One reason I really like Minus Space is because of its minimalist sensibility. I love this red and black painting.
The gallery is in my neighborhood – dumbo, Brooklyn, NY – right down the street from my studio, really.
The weird thing is that late one afternoon I received an email announcing a new post
of a blog I follow: http://fortheloveofnike.com/2012/09/28/classic-with-a-twist-of-quirky/

I had a quick look, and left my studio to attend some openings in the neighborhood and walked directly to Minus Space – and directly in front of this black and red painting. I couldn’t NOT make the connection!? I couldn’t make this up: Weird, Just weird … and non-rational.
.

Lucas Caleb Rooney Zara Aina: Share a Life

9. Met – Lucas Caleb Rooney, founder of Zara Aina: Share Life

Lucas is working on an amazing project, where he is pairing theater actors from America with children from Madgascar so both groups can connect, share their experiences and find a new outlet to tell their stories. The goal is to allow these children to develop theatrical performances as a mode of communication about their difficult upbringings.

Zara Aina: Share Life is having its inaugural benefit on Nov. 26th. Have a look at the site and buy a ticket. I’ll post more information soon!
.

Chinese Buddhist Sculpture in the West

10. Attended – Chinese Buddhist Sculpture in the West: Charles Lang Freer and the Xiangtangshan Cave Chapels, Presented by Keith Wilson, The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art; The Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, NYU.

A lecture about the reconstruction of a Buddhist cave, built 1500 years ago in Northern China, and musings about how religious icons become objects of aesthetic displays.
.

Hurricane Sandy dumbo

11. Superstorm Sandy and The Election for the President of the United States of America.

These two events kept me busy, and they are related. Much has been said about both, and many pictures taken.
I’ll just add: We are, most likely, in a new climate state.
.

Jesse Bercowetz & Rathin Barman12. Met – My friend and sculptor Jesse Bercowetz introduced me to Rathin Barman, a sculptor from Calcutta, India.

.
.
And finally, Thanksgiving:

Samuel Nigro thanksgiving

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a new project brewing

Samuel Nigro Sculpture CardboardSamuel Nigro Sculpture Cardboard
This cardboard model is 88″ high with a 20 x 20″ footprint.
It represents the volume of granite, which weighs almost two tons,
that I will be working with very soon.

Stay tuned …

and join my mailing list for insider info:
http://eepurl.com/norTf

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Filed under Art, Geometry, Sculpture