Caroline Bowen

Louisville, Tennessee, USA

I graduated from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, in December 2016 with my bachelor's in math and physics after spending the first half of my college career as an art major. As an artist, my primary motivation is to make the math and physics pedagogical tools I wish to see in the world, with an emphasis on elegance in design and interactivity. For this reason I consider my work to be closer to product design than acts of self expression, with much of it evolving out of creative exercises I assign myself.

60 x 40 x 40 cm
Mylar film, Copic marker, acrylic rod, plastic spacers, jewelry clasps, fishing line, eye hooks, eye bolt, washers, nuts, Plexiglass, spray paint

This mobile depicts a few of the atomic orbitals of hydrogen, more suggestively known as electron clouds, which describe the probability of finding an atom’s electron at some distance from the nucleus (shown as small black beads), which varies in 3D space throughout a spherical volume centered about the nucleus. They are made from Mylar disks mounted on a rod and separated by spacers, which are then airbrushed using a series of die-cut cardstock airbrush masks to build the volumetric gradients from transparent 2D layers.

7 x 28 x 7 cm
Mylar film, embroidery floss, thread conditioner, acrylic rod, clear acrylic beads, hot glue

This piece depicts the first six terms of the harmonic series as complex sinusoids illustratrated using embroidery floss threaded through three dimensional paths made by holes cut in Mylar disks. The disks have square central holes to prevent them from rotating out of place along the square rod, and they are separated by clear plastic beads. It is one from a series of eleven prototypes made in September 2017 that depicted waves, Laplace, and Fourier transforms and were based on an older paper experiment inspired by an illustration in Hecht’s “Optics”.