Martin Levin

retired high school math teacher
Portland, Oregon, USA
I received a Ph.D. in mathematics from Johns Hopkins. For most of my career I taught high school math in Waldorf schools, where the pedagogy encourages the bridging of mathematics and art. I'm now retired. The Platonic solids are quite simple geometric forms, and yet, as one contemplates them and builds up and holds the forms in one’s imagination, they become quite captivating. The center point has a polar plane (in the sense of projective geometry), which is the plane at infinity. One can imagine the form carved out by planes and lines coming in from the infinitely distant periphery. The model shown here is designed to suggest shapes that are not solid blocks, but rather created by lines and planes coming from the periphery.
Ten Tetrahedra Tensegrity
100 x 100 x 100 cm
stainless steel
2022
The compound of five tetrahedra has long fascinated me. Here, the stainless steel tubes form five tetrahedra with right hand orientation. They are suspended from one another by wires. The wires themselves form five more tetrahedra that are the mirror image of the first five. Altogether these are the ten tetrahedra that can be inscribed in a dodecahedron. The wires pass through holes in the tubes without touching, thereby making it a true tensegrity figure. Thanks to careful mathematical calculations, I was able to precision machine this piece entirely in stainless steel, allowing it to maintain its beauty in an outdoor setting.