Glen Whitney

freelance mathematical writer and event producer
Studio Infinity
Los Angeles, California, USA

All of my art pieces develop naturally from my public-participatory outreach; in fact, I like those pieces best that are assembled with the help of dozens of casual volunteers. As such, I use readily available media, often everyday objects, and my works seek to evoke the beauty, underlying order, and accessibility that to me are hallmarks of mathematics but which many have trouble seeing without some means, such as hopefully these artworks, to serve as a guide.

22 x 19 x 19 cm
Brass, elastic cord

“Snelsosphere” evolved from the earlier “icloseidodecahedron” (2017), designed to be a group-participation piece at a Storm King Art Center (SKAC) workshop I gave. That piece was inspired by Kenneth Snelson's early geometric period, since the SKAC owns one of his later free-form works (“Free Ride Home,” 2002).

Although it uses a more sophisticated stringing technique, “Snelsosphere” is based on the same set of 15 non-intersecting diagonals of an icosidodecahedron. The largest point symmetry group such a set can have is not known; this set has the largest I could find, five-fold rotational. The title plays on the word “Buckyball,” referencing the primacy dispute between Snelson and Fuller on the ideas and terms relating to tensegrity.