Yvette Kaiser Smith

Chicago, IL

I create wall-based geometric abstractions by utilizing grids and simple geometric shapes as tools in inventing systems for visualizing numerical values of sequences derived from the numbers π and e.

I spent over 20 years creating large works, fueled by identity narratives, by crocheting fiberglass that was formed by adding polyester resin, a labor-intensive process that engaged my hands at every stage. Number sequences entered my work as part of an expanding identity dialogue. The laser cut work, which began in 2016, has almost completely removed the sense of my hand from the final product. I am now exploring different ways to directly engage the material with my hand and bring identity dialogues back into the work.

Codex: pi 1021
235 x 342 x 4 cm
Clear with green edge, fluorescent green, and 31% light transmission white laser-cut acrylic sheets, nylon spacers, capped hardware.

Codex: pi 1021 consists of 48 acrylic panels, attached to the wall as a grid of 7 rows and 7 columns, hung 5 cm apart. Each panel measures 29 x 44.5 cm.

This work was created by following the first 1021 digits of π. Sequential digits are run top to bottom, left to right. Panels with simple geometric shapes allude to design templates, coded tablets, or pages. Four different, yet related, visual representations designate numerical values. Rectangular forms represent two digits and square forms represent one digit. Zeros within the sequence shift panels to open spaces within the grid. Following the digits also determines color and pattern placement using three different colors of acrylic sheet.

Elevation: in 44 digits from e
53 x 43 x 3 cm
Silver mirrored acrylic sheet with stenciled spray paint and matte clear acrylic sheet with incised line, nylon spacers, capped hardware.

I created this piece during my 2019 ARV.I artist residency in Vishovgrad, a village in central Bulgaria. Formal decisions and math mapping system were influenced by my experience of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria's historic capital. I came to Veliko Tarnovo directly after the Bridges Conference in Linz, Austria where I was reminded of John Venn’s Random Walk diagrams. This logic of mapping spoke directly to the terraced maze-like structure of the centuries old body that is Veliko Tarnovo and its visible layers of time.