# Fang You

Associate Professor of digital media
School of Communication and Design, Sun Yat-sen University
Guangzhou, P.R.China

A magic square is known as the arrangement of n x n numbers, such that any column, row or diagonal adds up to the same number, the magic number.

The Lo Shu, known and discussed in China since long, can be considered the first known 3 x 3 magic square. For n equal to four, 880 magic squares can be constructed, neglecting rotation and reflection.

For the work presented here, it is assumed, order of some sort is a contributing factor to aesthetic value.

Because of their mathematical properties, magic squares are highly ordered entities. It is our conjecture as artists, that this order will show if transformed into a visual representation. Instead of designing or constructing order for an image, we use the inherent order of magic squares as an engine for the construction of aesthetic events, and we focus on the design of the visualization schemes which generate the images representing aesthetic events. A great number of such schemes is conceivable.

Magic Squares for Binary
20" x 20"
Digital print on canvas
2010

For the example images on display, each base 10 integer from 1 to 16 of a 4 x 4 magic square is represented as a binary value, such as 1 → 0000, 2→0001, … , 15→1110, 16→1111. A long line represents a 1 in the binary string, and two short lines represent a 0 respectively. Based on the output of a program generating magic squares algorithmically, the integers 1 to 16 are turned into images keeping width, length, transparency of the lines and the spacing between lines as variables. Overlaps will occur and they are aesthetically wanted effects.

Magic squares, often placed in the recreational corner of mathematics, offer interesting strategies to exploit mathematical order for algorithmically generated fine-art.

A project, considering magic squares for aesthetic events has been carried out in 2010 by artists and programmers at the Media Research Center of Sun Yat Sen University in Guangzhou China.

Magic Squares for Binary 2
20" x 20"
Digital print on canvas
2010

For the example images on display, each base 10 integer from 1 to 16 of a 4 x 4 magic square is represented as a binary value, such as 1 → 0000, 2→0001, … , 15→1110, 16→1111. A long line represents a 1 in the binary string, and two short lines represent a 0 respectively. Based on the output of a program generating magic squares algorithmically, the integers 1 to 16 are turned into images keeping width, length, transparency of the lines and the spacing between lines as variables. Overlaps will occur and they are aesthetically wanted effects.

Magic squares, often placed in the recreational corner of mathematics, offer interesting strategies to exploit mathematical order for algorithmically generated fine-art.

A project, considering magic squares for aesthetic events has been carried out in 2010 by artists and programmers at the Media Research Center of Sun Yat Sen University in Guangzhou China.

Magic Squares for Binary 3
20" x 20"
Digital print on canvas
2010

For the example images on display, each base 10 integer from 1 to 16 of a 4 x 4 magic square is represented as a binary value, such as 1 → 0000, 2→0001, … , 15→1110, 16→1111. A long line represents a 1 in the binary string, and two short lines represent a 0 respectively. Based on the output of a program generating magic squares algorithmically, the integers 1 to 16 are turned into images keeping width, length, transparency of the lines and the spacing between lines as variables. Overlaps will occur and they are aesthetically wanted effects.

Magic squares, often placed in the recreational corner of mathematics, offer interesting strategies to exploit mathematical order for algorithmically generated fine-art.

A project, considering magic squares for aesthetic events has been carried out in 2010 by artists and programmers at the Media Research Center of Sun Yat Sen University in Guangzhou China.