Art Comes to Lawson
This semester, as Purdue University’s Richard & Patricia Lawson Computer Science Building celebrates its fifth anniversary, there will be noticeable changes in the halls. Lawson will now be home to the work of three artists whose work celebrates the intersections of computer science and artistic expression.
On Lawson’s second floor, Petrônio Bendito’s "Experience Color" exhibition explores color as an optical, psychological, and cultural presence. Dr. Bendito is an Associate Professor of Art and Design at Purdue University, and his art and research in computational color design methods has been presented internationally. Of his contributions he says, "I explore scientific and computational processes through my work. In the computer, algorithmic methods of producing or ordering sequences of color are limited only by one’s imagination. Models of perceptual color organization also impact my color design decisions. My work also raises questions about a potential digital color aesthetic."
Purdue University Professor Greg N. Frederickson, who joined the Computer Science Department in 1982, contributes "A Parade of Algorithmic Mathematical Art" – a collection of computer-generated images that illustrate geometric dissections of increasing sophistication. Dr. Frederickson’s three-dimensional pieces will be on exhibit on Lawson’s second floor, sharing case space with a digital frame displaying live animations. Elegant dissection methods are applied to symmetrical figures like stars. Garden benches twist to ring around a tree. These animations are algorithmic, Frederickson explains, because "we can detect algorithms both in the creation of smooth motion and in the use of dissection methods on certain infinite families of figures. So relax and enjoy the mesmerizing motion!”
David Spellmeyer contributed a series of striking photographs of cityscapes titled "Urban Geometry" which are on display on Lawson’s Third Floor. Recently recognized as an Outstanding Alumnus by Purdue Computer Science (B.S. ’83), Dr. Spellmeyer is the current CTO/CIO of Nodality. His black and white photographs are captured, processed, and printed using a digital workflow. "My work often captures some combination of glass, concrete, and steel," Spellmeyer says. "I am drawn towards juxtaposition and balance in the symmetry, lines, arcs, and reflections, whether found in buildings, fountains, sculptures, the sky, or some combination." Spellmeyer’s photographs seek out surprising angles and rare light patterns in otherwise familiar scenes.
This art exhibition continues throughout the 2011-2012 Academic Year. It is hoped that it will not only beautify the surroundings and inspire the conversations of students, faculty, staff, and visitors who frequent the Lawson Computer Science Building, but will encourage those from elsewhere on campus – as well as the general public – to come explore these fascinating collaborations of art and science.
*Note: Relative to one another, the above images are not to scale.