David Chappell

Associate Professor of Physics
University of La Verne
La Verne, CA
The universe has rules. Energy is conserved, opposites attract and life evolves toward increasing complexity. I like my art to follow rules as well. Or, more precisely, I consider the act of creating rules to be my art form. Once the rules are set in motion, I sit back and watch my universe unfold. Rules that produce symmetry, self-similarity and textures are well known. But which rules suggest organic variation, musicality or a sense of playfulness? I experiment with systems that lead to symmetry breaking and variations on a theme in order to explore the boundary between mathematical illustration and evocative art. I seek mathematical rules that generate simple, elegant, expressive and whimsical forms.
Meander #6
20"x16" Triptych (three 6"x16" panels)
Archival Inkjet Print
2012
The digital, computer-generated sketches presented are created from a single family of curves in natural coordinates (i.e. the tangent angle of the curve is expressed as a function of the arc length). Each curve is the sum of just two or three sine waves. The form of the curve is controlled by the frequencies and amplitudes of the sine functions. Visual phrases are seen to repeat through the curve when the composite sine functions beat against each other. The pattern of loops and curves vary from phrase to phrase, creating variations on a common theme.
Meander #13
20"x16" Triptych (three 6"x16" panels)
Archival Inkjet Print
2012
Meander #5
16"x22" Triptych (two 16"x6" panels and one 16"x8" panel)
Archival Inkjet Print
2012