Bronna A. Butler and Jessica K. Sklar
Artist Bronna A. Butler and mathematician Jessica K. Sklar began collaborating as QED Arts, LLC in Spring 2020, after serendipitously connecting at that year's Joint Mathematics Meetings. They create pieces that celebrate mathematics as a humanistic endeavor and honor its elegance, working from the premises that mathematics is for everyone and that whimsy and mathematics are not mutually exclusive.
This piece celebrates two Renaissance polymaths. Painter and printmaker Albrecht Dürer wrote a series of four books on geometry, in which, among other things, he described polyhedral nets (arrangements of nonoverlapping edge-joined polygons in the plane that can be folded to become the faces of a polyhedron). Our piece pays homage to one of Dürer's most famous engravings, featuring the Dürer polyhedron (and its net) and a magic square. It also celebrates an Italian artist and cryptographer, whose identity is left as a puzzle for the viewer. The viewer is additionally challenged to decipher the ciphertext message in the piece, as well as identify the hidden numbers in the magic square.