Using Science in the Artists Practice.

Due to my professional involvement in the music industry I began a journey of research into the physics of sound. I became obsessed with frequency and the influence of frequency in matter. I often use this subject within my art process.

Artists and Scientists use a similar approach in their research and processes. They are creating new undiscovered theories. Scientists and artists are creators and they often work around and outside of the known concepts. The artists approach can assist the scientist in their new found discoveries by making their research a physical object or a sound. When an artist and scientist work together they create a physical thing that can communicate the scientists theory to the outside world. 

It is often found that the artist has been working around and with various theories well before the scientific discovery is made and documented.

Pollock was a controversial artsist, many people thought his work was erratic and lacking in skill. We have now discovered that Pollocks paintings contain a pattern that represents fractual data. Physicist Richard Taylor realized that the fractual equation could be applied to Pollock’s work.  Richard Taylor has created a machine called The Pollockizer which replicates  Pollocks process.


Some fractal patterns exist only in mathematical theory, but others provide useful models for the irregular yet patterned shapes found in nature—the branchings of rivers and trees, for instance. Mathematicians tend to rank fractal dimensions on a series of scales between 0 and 3. One-dimensional fractals (such as a segmented line) typically rank between 0.1 and 0.9, two-dimensional fractals (such as a shadow thrown by a cloud) between 1.1 and 1.9, and three-dimensional fractals (such as a mountain) between 2.1 and 2.9. Most natural objects, when analyzed in two dimensions, rank between 1.2 and 1.6. Student presentation.

 Escher followed mathematical equations when creating his complex patterns. The visual results he achieved are very powerful. When the human brain interacts with the image it tries to work out the code.

Escher trained as an Architect. He was inspired by crystal formation and fractals. His way of thinking helped the mathematicians discover new theories. Escher was more respected within the scientific world than in the art world. Escher Tessellated shapes and used hyperbolical mathematical equations.

Margaret Wertheim: The beautiful math of cofishes-and-scalesral

Hyperbolical mathematical description – click here

Definition of Tessellation 

Ken Wong made an app of Eschers works they are interactive puzzles.  3023575-slide-mvoct1305

THE GOLDEN RATIO: is another equation that in the world of design is thought to be the perfect proportion. Scientists and researchers have discovered this mathematical equation in many pieces of art and design through the ages, it appears in the Greek structure Parthenon, the painting of the Mona Lisa, amongst other well known historical paintings.

golden ratiogrgolden-ratio



The fibonacci seq. is found in fractals, in the skin of animals, music mathematics, 1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, visualise a string vibration.

Benoit Mandelbrot: Fractals and the art of roughness

The Mandelbrot set is the set of complex numbers ‘c’ for which the sequence (c, c² + c, (c²+c)² + c, ((c²+c)²+c)² + c, (((c²+c)²+c)²+c)² + c, …) does not approach infinity.

BBC Documentary -The Code

1. 7 and 12 were thought as magical by St Augustine sacred numbers that held the key to creation.

The Markov Chain: exception of value/probabilities, dependent on the previous outcome.


Many artists also use code and data found in the world around us. They may use structured forms or mark making in response to found data.

Max Mathews used binary numbers/code to create Sound synthesis in 1957. Binary code consists of zero,s and ones, 0001001010010010010100101, and Lejaren Hiller in digital aided composition. 1956.


An example is: DLA Diffussion Limited Aggregated, a process for generating organic forms.


Recommended reading:

Bridging art and engineering using Escher based virtual elements – written by Glaucio. H. Paulino 

Golden Section Oslen: Amazon books 

Form and Code in Design, Art and Architecture: Casey Reas.

Useful program to generate patterns: randomwalktraditional (open source) processing

Program for creating wave form, sin wave: INTRO MAX MSP – PUREDATA

Here are some examples of my art process where I am using data found: Transformation of Frequency using Cymatics.



wallpaper demo curve close up656.37hz 3d cymatic papaer 1 a2

3d printable sound sphere
3d printable sound sphere


Published by liannemorgan

BA (Hons), MFA. I use a Multi-Disciplinary approach to create my work in both Music and Art. I use Science, Technology, and other Artists to inspire my process and create my work.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: