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Unfolding Humanity is the name of the massive 10' tall and 40' wide interactive metal sculpture that calls attention to the connection and contrast between humanity and technology. Its underlying design alludes to two wonders in mathematics and cosmology:
(1) Albrecht Dürer's 500-year-old unsolved problem on unfolding convex polyhedra, and
(2) the shape of our universe based on recent cosmic microwave background radiation data.

The exterior pentagonal panels of the sculpture are dark green acrylic etched with characters illuminated by trailing LEDs, whereas their interiors are reflective mirrors used to create a kaleidoscopic image of the universe. Up to 15 people can interact with the artwork with an advanced ratchet/pulley system. Damping and angle-limiting hinges are used to add further control to the folding motion, mimicking the unfolding of flowers in nature.

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Description

For centuries, the work of the mathematician and the visual artist are viewed not only as incompatible, but held in tension. Mathematics is attributed to Platonic notions focusing on abstract ideas and theoretical structures. The visual artist, on the other hand, is relegated to works of the hands, dealing with the concrete and the tangible. In trying to bring these worlds together, we should be wary of easy shortcuts to a complex issue, valuing both true artistic vision and rigorous mathematical sophistication.

And so we ask: how can vibrant, contemporary art be produced that deals with vibrant, contemporary mathematics? Unfolding Humanity, a massive, interactive sculpture, is one attempt in answering this question.

We have been fortunate to receive support from the San Diego Collaborative Arts Project (SDCAP) and the University of San Diego (USD) Applied Mathematics program. But this only takes us part way to make this artwork possible.

Donations are applied to...

Every penny of these donations goes toward the building, the transportation, and the display costs involved with this artwork. Our vision is to promote the volunteers and artists in San Diego at a national level, through the integration of mathematics and the arts.

Why are donations necessary?

We have been fortunate to receive support from the San Diego Collaborative Arts Project (SDCAP) and the University of San Diego (USD) Applied Mathematics program. But this only takes us part way to make this artwork possible.