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Ron Eglash Interviewed for TiP

Seeing Heritage Algorithms 3952
Ron Eglash shares his project, Seeing Heritage Algorithms, created in partnership with Stamps professor Audrey Bennett, at Stamps Gallery in 2019

Professor Ron Eglash was featured in TiP, a media outlet that explores new concepts and creations across the arts and science. Eglash studies the relationship between mathematics and culture. In the interview, he takes readers on a journey through African divination, marxism, mysticism, and why native tribes have a greater crop variety than the West” — all because of fractals, shapes of infinite detail and self-similarity.

At one time the height of Western design practice was exerting control. We could sculpt metal into increasingly precise forms; level mountains, replace diverse forests with uniform plantations. The folly of exclusive emphasis on top-down control came to haunt us with environmental destruction, labor exploitation, and authoritarian regimes. Indigenous traditions have had a much better understanding of how to combine top-down and bottom-up. Fractals are just one example, a sort of signature that a self-organizing process was at work, because the pattern was able to grow in an organic-like process, combining negative and positive feedback.

The Mystery of Fractals in Indigenous African Design | tip​.bal​mond​stu​dio​.com