Looking for M.C. Escher at the mall

A tribute to M.C. Escher, Natick, Massachusetts. (c) DE Wolf 2016.

A tribute to M.C. Escher, Natick, Massachusetts. (c) DE Wolf 2016.

I think that most people both know of M. (Maurits) C. ( Cornelis) Escher and delight in his work. His drawings feature mathematical objects and operations and delightfully many of these can be termed “impossible objects,” like staircase that go up only to come back down. It is very much like a Twilight Zone of Mathematics and Escher is highly regarded among scientists and mathematicians . He featured prominently in Douglas Hofstadter‘s 1979 book Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid. Escher did not consider himself to be a mathematician yet he interacted with many of the contemporary mathematicians of his day, notably including:  George Pólya, Roger Penrose, and Harold Coxeter.

A point in all of this is that infinity, symmetry, chaos, and fractals are everywhere. They surround us and will grace the receptive eye. Such is what immediately came to mind Sunday, when I was confronted by this store window decalled with this “infinite” mathematical pattern. It is the kind of pattern that wonderfully seems to blink between being flat and two dimensional alternative with appearing three dimensional.

Photographically, I spent a lot of time trying to hold the IPhone just right so as not to distort the image and to frame it just so. There was also a bit of a problem with window glare. But this I managed to eliminate: first by switching to black and white and second by burning or cloning out all of the glare. In the end I decided that the slightly tilted perspective greatly enhanced the sense of the infinite. Parallel lines are said to meet in infinity.

“If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is, Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro’ narrow chinks of his cavern.”
William Blake, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell


This entry was posted in Personal Photographic Wanderings.