A Momentary Flow

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Artistic beauty, Gombrich believed, relies on a tension between symmetry and asymmetry: ‘a struggle between two opponents of equal power, the formless chaos, on which we impose our ideas, and the all-too-formed monotony, which we brighten up by new accents’. Even Francis Bacon (the 17th-century proto-scientist, not the 20th-century artist) understood this much: ‘There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.’

Beauty is truth? There’s a false equation – Philip Ball – Aeon

The beauty of mathematics – in pictures

The book 50 Visions of Mathematics is a collection of 50 short essays by 50 maths writers and a foreword by Dara O Briain. Launched on Wednesday to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, it also contains 50 images supplied in response to an open call from the worldwide maths community. Here are my favourites (via The beauty of mathematics – in pictures | Alex Bellos | Science | theguardian.com)

Virtual Worlds: Walter Pichler’s Futuristic Visions
Around forty-five years ago a man wore a submarine-like white helmet that extended from front to back. His entire head disappeared into the futurist capsule; only the title betraying what was happening. TV Helmet created in 1967 is a technical device that isolates the user while imbedding him or her in an endless web of information: closed off against the outside world, the wearer was completely focused on the screen before his eyes. TV Helmet is the work of Walter Pichler and it doesn’t merely formally anticipate the cyber glasses developed decades later; Pichler also articulated questions of content in relation to the media experience long before the “virtual world” was even discovered. Even back then, Walter Pichler was probably already a media critic as he’s remained one to this day. But he is also a conceptually thinking artist who explored space early on—beyond the four walls and the structures of cities. Pichler called his invention a Portable Living Room. His pioneering designs, The Prototypes, are pneumatic plastic living bubbles from the sixties that sought answers to the questions of tomorrow’s individualized life somewhere between the areas of design, architecture, and art. With their reference to space travel and modernist materials, Pichler’s futurist sculptures inspire a desire for the future— even if his messages are said to possess a sceptical or sarcastic undertone. (via Virtual Worlds: Walter Pichler’s Futuristic Visions | artselectronic)

Drone takes light paintings into whole new realm

Light paintings, or long exposure photography if you want to be technically correct, never gets old. Over the years, we’ve seen quite an impressive array of creative light paintings made using different techniques. But this is the first time we’ve seen an artist use a drone to light up the night in such spectacular fashion. Artist and remote-control aviation enthusiast FICTION thought it’d be fun to try to emulate some of the aesthetic from Close Encounters of the Third Kind using a drone. To create his “Close Encounters of the Phantom Kind” homage, FICTION took a DJI Phantom drone, strapped some lights to it, flew it around at night, and then took some long exposure shots. The result: some decent abstract light art. Good, but not great stuff. To turn the ordinary-looking long exposures into something more eye-catching, FICTION imported the shots into Photoshop and mirrored them. As you can see for yourself in the gallery below, the final composites are way more interesting to look at. We know Amazon and the UAE are wetting their pants at the idea of drone delivery systems, but can we get some more drone art guys? More of this stuff please. (via Drone takes light paintings into whole new realm | DVICE)