Conan Chadbourne

San Antonio, Texas, USA

My work is motivated by a fascination with the occurrence of mathematical and scientific imagery in traditional art forms, and the mystical, spiritual, or cosmological significance that is often attached to such imagery. Mathematical themes both overt and subtle appear in a broad range of traditional art: Medieval illuminated manuscripts, Buddhist mandalas, intricate tilings in Islamic architecture, restrained temple geometry paintings in Japan, complex patterns in African textiles, geometric ornament in archaic Greek ceramics. Often this imagery is deeply connected with the models and abstractions these cultures use to interpret and relate to the cosmos, in much the same way that modern scientific diagrams express a scientific worldview.

Extended Regularity
60 x 60 cm
archival digital print

A Steiner quadruple system of order N, abbreviated as SQS(N), is an arrangement of N symbols into blocks of four such that every triple of symbols occurs in exactly one block. A Steiner triple system of order N-1, STS(N-1) can be derived from a SQS(N) by considering all the blocks which have a particular symbol in common, and then eliminating that symbol from those blocks.

This image presents a visualization of the unique SQS(8), with an arrangement that emphasizes the construction of the derived STS(7). The inner ring of quadruples all have a single symbol (shown in grey) in common. The remaining three symbols in these seven blocks form the unique STS(7).