Carving a Niche
"The pleasure that mathematicians and artists get from their work is surprisingly similar -- they both derive an aesthetic delight from their practices."
Aaron Meyers, mathematics and art
"I received my bachelor's degree in mathematics from Bucknell, but I was also always making things with my hands. As an undergraduate I was a technical assistant in the University costume shop. It was rewarding to be part of theatre and dance productions and to learn a craft from Professor Paula Davis and costume shop manager Pam Miller.
"In the second semester of my junior year, I took a sculpture course with a visiting professor. The next semester, I took another course with Professor Joe Meiser, and I've been working with him ever since.
"I worked as a studio assistant for him, helping him complete the work for his exhibition 'Influx.' For his piece The Two Deaths of Socrates, I assisted in making the molds and pouring plastic casts. I also spent a great deal of time carving the skulls in the show. I was covered in dust for months, but I learned a lot of technical skills and got to see how a professional artist conceives of projects and makes decisions.
"My own work, which has been exhibited on campus and in Williamsport, and will be shown in Pittsburgh, involves interactive, human-scale machines and large sets for performances. For instance, in one of my works, participants are invited to crank a mechanism that moves large steel hands. The steel hands powerfully mimic the motion of the participant's hands, but fail to achieve a basic task. They're at once superhuman and utterly inadequate.
"The pleasure that mathematicians and artists get from their work is surprisingly similar -- they both derive an aesthetic delight from their practices. The mathematicians and artists that I most admire don't directly change the world, but take part in ancient discussions that are deeply connected to history." || See Aaron's website
Aaron is from Pittsburgh, Pa.Posted March 28, 2012