Erik & Martin Demaine
Dorothy Simpson Krause
Bonnie Thompson Norman
Guild of Book Workers
Erik and Martin Demaine
Erik Demaine and Martin Demaine are a father-son math-art team who work together in paper, glass, and other material. They use their exploration in sculpture to help visualize and understand unsolved problems in science, and their scientific abilities to inspire new art forms. These sculptures explore the power of folding paper along curved creases. Each paper component is folded by hand from a circle of paper, using a compass to score the creases and cut out a central hole. The paper folds itself into a natural equilibrium form depending on its creases, a process not yet understood mathematically.
This book sculpture is a modular combination of several interacting pieces of paper, confined within a hand-blown glass vessel. Each piece of paper is folded along concentric circular creases from a sheet of paper printed with overlapping pages from Graham Greene's short story "The Destructors" (1954). The paper folds itself into a natural equilibrium form based on these creases. We place the pieces inside the glass vessel like a ship in a bottle, squeezing each piece to fit inside a small hole on the bottom. We loved the chaos and confusion of the movie "Donnie Darko" (2001), in which the characters are inspired by Graham Greene's (real) short story, whose central tenet is that "destruction after all is a form of creation." This story seemed ideal for our process, which obscures and slices the text into an unreadable "book," effectively upcycling the story into a new sculptural form.
Elephant hide paper and hand-blown glass.
11 x 5 x 4 inches; 28 x 13 x 10 centimeters. Created 2014.