Evan Daniel Smith

Artist
Maryland Institute College of Art
Baltimore, Maryland, USA
I have memorized pi to 10,000 digits (somewhat imperfectly), and recite it from memory in my work. These acts imply a game with objective rules, where I recite the previous version correctly or incorrectly, and which exists within the broader scope of the artwork. Between these approaches, memorization of a subject becomes an act of quiet generosity towards it. Memorizing and reciting random numbers becomes a highly meditative act, at once random and personal.

The recitations in my work have taken a myriad of forms. The use of new media allows the rhythm of my recollection to become a part of the work. This is a system where objective mathematical constants and memory interact with artistic elements.
Phone Calls
61 x 82 cm
Arduino, vibration motors, and cell phones on canvas
2014
The ten vibrating phones are mimicking me reciting pi. I typed pi from memory into a computer while using a program I wrote to record it and send it to motors in the phones. The rhythm of my recitation is also mimicked. After 10,000 digits the code repeats. This is a time-based work.
Two and Ten Screens
49 x 64 cm
Oil on canvas over screen running computer program
2014
The ten computer screens light up to mimic me reciting pi. I typed pi from memory into a computer while using a program I wrote to pull up a different light for each number. The result is replayed behind a painting with sections cut out.

Please note that this piece may be exhibited over a computer screen (placed on a pedestal or table, as shown) or video screen (mounted on a wall).
Pi Pie
8 x 23 x 23 cm
Arduino, vibration motors, tinted silicone, pi tin
2014
This pie buzzes the number pi onto your hand. I typed pi from memory into a computer while using a program I wrote to record it and send it to motors in the pie.

The placement of the vibrations on the five fingers uses the structure of the Japanese soroban abacus, and bears a resemblance to Asian hand mnemonics.