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Clifford Singer

510 Broome Street, New York, New York 10013, U.S.A. Email: CliffordhS@aol.com

http://www.lastplace.com/EXHIBITS/VIPsuite/CSinger/index.htm

**Name: Clifford Singer, Artist/Mathematician, (b. New York, U.S.A., 1955)
**

Fields of interest: Geometry, color theory, mathematical art, computers, art collecting, astronomy, and philosophy.

Awards: Lincoln Center, Mostly Mozart Festival poster, New York, Tokyo; Honorable Mention Award, Summit Art Center, N.J.

Publications: International Journal of Condition Monitoring and Diagnostic Engineering Management, (COMADEM), Volume 4 No. 1,

page 38, January 2001 accepted from QRM 2000, IMechE, pages 359 - 362; FOCUS [The Newsletter of the Mathematical Association of

America] December 2000 Volume 20 Number 9, front cover by Clifford Singer, Quartic, 1999, Acrylic on Plexiglass, 30 x 30 inches;

feature article by Ivars Peterson, Art Inspired by Mathematics in New York, pages 4-5, (re: Art & Mathematics 2000); MAA Online,

Ivars Peterson’s MathTrek, Mathematical Art on Display, November 4, 2000, pages 1-4; Art & Mathematics 2000, The Cooper Union,

56 page color exhibition catalogue, curated, edited, and published by Clifford Singer; QRM 2000, IMechE, Visual Mathematics in Art,

by Clifford Singer, Pages 359-362; VisMath; http://www.mi.sanu.ac.yu/vismath/clif/Index.html ; Conceptual Mechanics of Expression

in Geometric Fields, by Clifford Singer, Slavik Jablan & Denes Nagy: editors of VisMath; BRIDGES, Mathematical Connections in Art,

Music, and Science, 2nd Annual Conference, Conference Proceedings, 1999, Conceptual Mechanics of Expression in Geometric Fields,

Reza Sarhangi, Editor; ISAMA 99, Conference Proceedings, Geometrical Fields, by Clifford Singer Pages 445-452, International

Society of The Arts, Mathematics, and Architecture; Universidad del Pais Vasco, San Sebastian, Spain; ASCI, Art & Science

Collaborations, Inc., Artist Catalog, 1999, First Edition; Stephanie Strickland, Poem: Sand and Harry Soot, art works by Clifford Singer

Internet address: http://webpages.mr.net/holmes/SandSoot/SSS/home.html; BRIDGES, Mathematical Connections in Art, Music, and

Science; Conferece Proceedings, 1998, Reza Sarhangi, Editor, Clifford Singer - Pages 283-286.

**Abstract: Of the branches of mathematics, geometry has, from the earliest Hellenic period, been given
**

a curious position that straddles empirical and exact science. Its standing as an empirical and

approximate science stems from the practical pursuits of artistic drafting, land surveying and measuring

in general. From the prominence of visual applications, such as figures and constructions in the

twentieth century Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity holds that the geometry of space-time is

dependent upon physical quantities. On the other hand, earlier on in history, the symmetry and perfect

regularity of certain geometric figures were taken as representative of a higher order knowledge than

that afforded by sense experience. Concerns with figures and constructions, instead of with numbers and

computations, rendered geometry amenable to axiomatic formulation and syllogistic deduction,

establishing a paradigm of demonstrative visual and intuitive knowledge that has spanned two millennia.

**In geometry and as followed in geometrical art there remains a connection that distinguishes
**

between the unboundedness of spaces as a property of its extent, and special cases of infinite measure over

which distance would be taken is dependent upon particular curvature of lines and spaces. The curvature

of a surface could be defined in terms only of properties dependent solely on the surface itself as being

intrinsic. On the empirical side, Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometries particularly Riemann’s

approach effected the understanding of the relationship between geometry and space, in that it stated the

question whether space is curved or not. Gauss never published his revolutionary ideas on non-Euclidean

geometry, and Bolyai and Lobachevsky are usually credited for their independent discovery of hyperbolic

geometry. Hyperbolic geometry is often called Lobachevskian geometry, perhaps because Lobachevsky’s

work went deeper than Bolyai’s. However, in the decades that followed these discoveries Lobachevsky’s

work met with rather vicious attacks. The decisive figure in the acceptance of non-Euclidean geometry

was Beltrami. In 1868, he discovered that hyperbolic geometry could be given a concrete interpretation,

via differential geometry. For most purposes, differential geometry is the study of curved surfaces by way

of ideas from calculus. Geometries had thus played a part in the emergence and articulation of relativity

theory, especially differential geometry. Within the range of mathematical properties these principles

could be expressed. Philosophically, geometries stress the hypothetical nature of axiomatizing,

Clifford Singer page 2

**contrasting a usual view of mathematical theories as true in some unclear sense. Steadily over the last
**

hundred years the honor of visual reasoning in mathematics has been dishonored. Although the great

mathematicians have been oblivious to these fashions the geometer in art has picked up the gauntlet on

behalf of geometry. So, metageometry is intended to be in line with the hypothetical character of

metaphysics.

**Geometric axioms are neither synthetic a priori nor empirical. They are more properly
**

understood as definitions. Thus when one set of axioms is preferred over another the selection is a matter

of convention. Poincare’s philosophy of science was formed by his approach to mathematics which was

broadly geometric. It is governed by the criteria of simplicity of expression rather than by which geometry

is ultimately correct. A sketch of Kant’s theory of knowledge that defined the existence of mathematical

truths a central pillar to his philosophy. In particular, he rests support on the truths of Euclidean

geometry. His inability to realize at that time the existence of any other geometry convinced him that it

was the only one. Thereby, the truths demonstrated by Euclidean systems and the existence of a priori

synthetic propositions were a guarantee. The discovery of non-Euclidean geometry opened other variables

for Kant’s arguments. That Euclidean geometry is used to describe the motion of bodies in space, it

makes no sense to ask if physical space is really Euclidean. Discovery in mathematics is similar to the

discovery in the physical sciences whereas the former is a construction of the human mind. The latter

must be considered as an order of nature that is independent of mind. Newton became disenchanted with

his original version of calculus and that of Leibniz and around 1680 had proceeded to develop a third

version of calculus based on geometry. This geometric calculus is the mathematical engine behind

Newton’s Principia.

**Conventionalism as geometrical and mathematical truths are created by our choices, not dictated
**

by or imposed on us by scientific theory. The idea that geometrical truth is truth we create by the

understanding of certain conventions in the discovery of non-Euclidean geometries. Subsequent to this

discovery, Euclidean geometries had been considered as a paradigm of a priori knowledge. The further

discovery of alternative systems of geometry are consistent with making Euclidean geometry seem

dismissed without interfering with rationality. Whether we utilize the Euclidean system or non-Euclidean

system seems to be a matter of choice founded on pragmatic considerations such as simplicity and

convenience.

**The Euclidean, Lobachevsky-Bolyai-Gauss, and Reimannian geometries are united in the same
**

space, by the Smarandache Geometries, 1969. These geometries are, therefore partially Euclidean and

partially Non-Euclidean. The geometries in their importance unite and generalize all together and

separate them as well. Hilbert’s relations of incidence, betweenness, and congruence are made clearer

through the negations of Smarandache’s Anti-Geometry. Florentin Smarandache’s geometries fall under

the following categories: Paradoxist Geometry, Non-Geometry, Counter-Projective Geometry, and Anti-

Geometry.

**Science provides a fruitful way of expressing the relationships between types or sets of
**

sensations, enabling reliable predictions to be offered. These sensations of sets of data reflect the world

that causes them or causal determination; as a limited objectivity of science that derives from this fact,

but science does not suppose to determine the nature of that underlying world. It is the underlying

structure found through geometry that has driven the world of geometers to artistic expressions.

Geometrical art can through conventions and choices which are determinable by rule may appear to be

empirical, but are in fact postulates that geometers have chosen to select as implicit definitions. The

choice to select a particular curve to represent a finite set of points requires a judgment as to that which is

simpler. There are theories which can be drawn that lead to postulate underlying entities or structures.

These abstract

Clifford Singer page 3

entities or models may seem explanatory, but strictly speaking are no more than visual devices useful for

calculation.

**Abstract entities, are sometimes collected under universal categories, that include mathematical
**

objects, such as numbers, sets, and geometrical figures, propositions, and relations. Abstracta, are stated

to be abstracted from particulars. The abstract square or triangle have only the properties common to all

squares or triangles, and none peculiar to any particular square or triangle; that they have not particular

color, size, or specific type whereby they may be used for an artistic purpose. Abstracta are admitted to an

ontology by Quine’s criterion if they must exist in order to make the mechanics of the structure to be real

and true. Properties and relations may be needed to account for resemblance among particulars, such as

the blueness shared amongst all blue things.

**Concrete intuition and understanding is a major role in the appreciation of geometry as
**

intersections both in art and science. This bares great value not only to the participating geometer artists

but to the scholars for their research. In the presentation of geometry, we can bridge visual intuitive

aspects with visual imagination. In this statement, I have outlined for geometry and art without strict

definitions of concepts or with any actual computations. Thus, the presentation of geometry as a

brushstroke to approach visual intuition should give a much broader range of appreciation to

mathematics.

Clifford Singer, 2001

References

David Papineau (editor), (1999), The Philosophy of Science, Oxford Readings in Philosophy.

Morris Kline, (1953), Mathematics In Western Culture, Oxford University Press.

D. Hilbert and S. Cohn-Vossen, (1952), Geometry And The Imagination, AMS Chelsea Publishing.

F. Smarandache, Collected Papers, Vol. II, Kishinev University Press, Kishinev, 1997.

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