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Math Art – System DIBIAS

The Algebra series shows numerous mathematical landscapes of different algebraic functions in three-dimensional space, extended with fractional polynomials or supplemented by trigonometric functions, but it also shows devil’s curves, which fascinated Franke very much, in different ways. The z-axis of the three-dimensional space is always coded in colours, like a projection on the surface of a map. For this purpose, the two developed numerous colour staircases through which one could move in the third dimension on the screen through the curve arrays of the different functions with the help of a rolling ball. The colour staircases did not show a continuous colour spectrum, but consisted of colour strips of different thicknesses with which one could “wander” along the Z-axis through the algebraic landscapes with constantly changing visual impressions.

The term Math Art summarizes the results of a long series of experiments that Herbert W. Franke carried out together with the programmer Horst Helbig from 1980 onwards. It was about the use of mathematical methods, which were not developed and used for scientific purposes, but for aesthetic purposes. The main goal of the 15-year project (1980-1995) was the investigation of numerous mathematical disciplines regarding their aesthetic dimension and the visualization of complex mathematical relationships from algebraic formulas to stochastic relationships. In the course of the work, not only was the aesthetic dimension of formulas and functions explored, but a whole series of new graphic routines were also created, which were integrated into the software DIBIAS (digital image processing system) as a fixed component, including representations in 2D and 3D as well as further image processing with the methods of image transformation. The heart of the computer was a Comtal Image Processing System and the software DIBIAS with a resolution of up to 2048 x 2048 pixels and around 16 million colors.