Pi Strands

A large grid made from very small components is how I visualized the articulation of sequences from the number pi. The plan is to create a system; to define a specific method for directly articulating the digits; define colors and a sequence for the colors; chose a number sequence; and follow the plan to create the work. Small works, such as Pi Strands, were created to accommodate small walls and also are studies, studies of forms and systems that are not currently in my studio vocabulary, and possibly templates for future large works.

Pi Strands is a direct articulation of the first 52 digits of the number pi. Each tube is 5” in diameter and 7” deep. Each number value was assigned its own color. Colors were inspired by bacteria. The individual units within each vertical strand are connected to create a solid unit. There are 7 vertical strands. 7 is a prime number. I like that this form speaks to biology and architecture at the same time. I associate strands with microscopic forms found inside bodies or unique organisms found in nature.

Also, focusing on how the material process parallels identity construction, I crocheted all the units in this group to be the same. Each single unit used the same stitch and the same number of stitches to produce a mass of individuals who began exactly the same but by enduring the steps within this material process, the cookie cutter units took baby steps towards individuation. There are many opportunities within each process step to lose control of the form and distort each unit in its own unique way. Upon first look, the small units that assemble to create each of the 7 strands seem the same, but in actuality, no two units are.

A prime number is a positive integer that can only be divided by 1 and itself. Prime numbers stand out from a sea of other numbers as they are the multiplicative root of all other numbers. They are the beginning, yet there are an infinite number of them, they cannot be contained. Often, nature grows in primes.

Brief definition of the number pi

Pi by definition is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. Pi is an infinite decimal, it has infinitely many numbers to the right of the decimal point. These numbers never repeat in a pattern. Pi is irrational meaning it cannot be written as a fraction. The first few digits of pi are 3.1415926535897....
Pi is a transcendental number. Transcendental number is not expressible as an integer or as the root or quotient of integers.

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© Yvette Kaiser Smith 2004