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An Artist's Timely Riddles

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Author:Ivars Peterson - Science News Online
Description: The late 19th and early 20th centuries were a time of great popular interest in visualizing a fourth spatial dimension - a concept that appeared to offer painters and sculptors, in particular, an avenue of escape from conventional representation. Moreover, the development of non-Euclidean geometries, which overturned Euclid's postulate that parallel lines never meet, provided alternative but perfectly consistent models of reality. These ideas came together in an assemblage that Duchamp completed in 1914 and called "3 Stoppages Étalon," or three standard stopping points... Duchamp stated that it didn't matter who had originally manufactured his readymades. The point was that he, Duchamp, had chosen them. Those words echo Poincaré's notion that mathematical discovery means selection - discerning patterns and laws hidden within apparent randomness....

Levels: High School (9-12), College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Articles
Math Topics: Patterns/Relationships, Higher-Dimensional Geometry, Non-Euclidean Geometry, Art

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