David Chappell

Associate Professor of Physics
Math, Physics and Computer Science Department, University of La Verne
La Verne, CA

Mathematical art gives me the opportunity to create my own universe. I design mathematical and computational rules to explore the production of complex spatiotemporal patterns. In some sense, I consider my art form to be the act of creating rules. Sometimes I adopt a “hands-off” approach and let my universe unfold undisturbed once the rules have been set in motion. Other times I meddle: tweaking, reordering, organizing. In either case, the aim of these explorations is to both generate aesthetically compelling compositions and to better understand the process of pattern formation in dynamical systems.

Topos Hyperuranios
Topos Hyperuranios
20" x 20"
Archival Inkjet Print

“Topos Hyperuranios” (the place beyond the heavens), is a star chart in an imagined universe of pure form. Each “galaxy” is constructed from a single closed curve in which the tangential angle of the curve is expressed as the sum of two sine terms that are functions of arc length. I refer to such curves as sinuous meander patterns. An additional linear term is included to wrap the curves into rotationally symmetric designs. Each structure has between 3- and 11-fold rotational symmetry. Most have reflection symmetry as well. I find it remarkable that a single underlying equation can produce such richly diverse forms.