Frank A Farris

Professor of Mathematics and Computer Science
Santa Clara University
San Jose, California, USA

The wave of mathematical art is still growing and I'm happy to lend my energy to our shared enterprise. Our world needs more demonstrations that mathematics is dazzling, yet approachable; useful, yet fanciful. The more I look, the more I discover mathematical techniques that have under-exploited application to art. After working in this field for more than twenty-five years, I continue to find new avenues to explore. It delights me.

Alla Fine Diventava Tutto Viola (In the End, Everything Was Becoming Purple)
51 x 51 cm
Digital print on aluminum

I created a wallpaper pattern using a suitable wallpaper function, the domain-coloring algorithm, and a photograph of sweet peas. Then I wound the wallpaper around the plane in a Fibonacci spiral. The morphing effect is produced by the simple artifice of turning the coloring photograph as the computation proceeds along the spiral arms: It's as if the pattern is gradually turning from white to purple as we progress outward. (This effect can also be shown in animation, thanks to the "blooming" property of Fibonacci spirals, as pioneered by John Edmark, whose work inspired this piece.) The title comes from a curious sentence in an Italian lesson on Duolingo, the free language-learning app.