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Fractals Transcending

About the Exhibition


Aug 15, 2022 – Aug 20, 2027


Joyce Cummings Center — 177 College Ave


Polymode Studio:
Silas Munro
Brian Johnson

Fractals Transcending, a video artwork of digital animation, was created by the bicoastal Polymode Studio, Silas Munro and Brian Johnson, for the Joyce Cummings Center. Inspired by the research of ethnomathematician Ron Eglash in his book African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design, as well as visual theories of the French-American mathematician Benoit Mandelbrot, Fractals Transcending presents a collection of modules, each encompassing a fractal formation. In a meditative exercise where modules become visible, establish correspondences, and then vanish, the video speaks to the intricacy of fractal patterns present in nature—from the spiral structure of a blossoming flower to the complex, weblike appearance of a leaf viewed through a microscope.

Polymode’s research points to abstraction, data, and geometry, evident in the inclusion of black-and-white patterns that establish a dialogue among such things as landscape images, organic materials, and flora. This visual translation of information hints at the possibilities of understanding mathematics and ethnography from a visual perspective, speaking also to the various disciplines that converge in the JCC and its engagement in data-related research.

Fractals Transcending is part of the Joyce Cummings Center (JCC) Art Program with artworks on floors 5+6, 3+4, and the entry lobby screens. Funding for the JCC Arts Program was generously provided by Dr. Joan M. (J ’69) and Alan Henricks. The commissions were developed by the Tufts University Art Galleries with the JCC Art Working Group and Tufts Public Art Committee.