Fourier Letters Series (1990-1995)
The Fourier Letters series was created as part of Herbert W. Franke’s research into Math Art together with the programmer Horst Helbig at the German Aerospace Center in Oberpfaffenhofen. With the series of letters, Franke made experiments with the mathematical design of letters as they were used in ancient manuscripts or in high-quality book printing as vignettes for the beginning of chapters. Franke worked primarily with Fourier transforms.
The alphabet was available in coarse resolution. Circular parts have now been cut out of the images. The “destroyed” image was then subjected to a Fourier transformation, which is usually computationally intensive. A number of series of ornamentally decorated alphabet rows in a uniform style were created through various image deformations on the one hand, but also through the use of different Fourier transformations on the other.
The term Math Art summarizes the results of a long series of experiments that Herbert W. Franke carried out together with the physicist and 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 (for digital image evaluation system) as a fixed component, including representations in 2D and 3D as well as further processing with the methods of image transformation (picture processing). The heart of the computer was a Comtal Image Processing System and software DIBIAS with a resolution of up to 2048 x 2048 pixels and around 16 million colors.rben.
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