Hunter Mack, Engineered Artwork, April 2009

Hunter invited me over the other day for a beer and a peek at his new work. Above is a picture of his cat Linus and Hunter himself sitting underneith a figurative painting of his own making which he calls a “placeholder only.” Below are some pics of some of his recent, detailed abstractions based upon math models that he describes there following. Hunter is from Arkansas and has a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Berkeley. He runs a record label called Gold Robot. Please click here to link to his site directly.

1… The Gaussian Distribution is a common mathematical distribution found in nature and many other statistical realms. The main feature of a Guassian (also known as a normal distribution) is that it describes events which cluster around a mean. It is also used in the generation of random numbers. I used it since I’m trying to reconcile something random, attempting to provide reasoning to the nature of outlier events through visual depictions.(For a cursory introduction, the wikipedia page is helpful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Normal_distribution)

2…. The new series, done with the stencil approach, draws on Poisson Distributions. Again, it is an attempt to visually depict events. The stencil/spraypaint medium allowed me to investigate how the application of a palette of colors to a set distribution can have a varied outcome.(Again, see the wiki page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poisson_distribution)I love that you can describe the following events using this distribution:
The number of soldiers killed by horse-kicks each year in each corps in the
Prussian cavalry. This example was made famous by a book of Ladislaus Josephovich Bortkiewicz (1868–1931).
The number of phone calls at a
call centre per minute.
Under an assumption of
homogeneity, the number of times a web server is accessed per minute.
The number of
mutations in a given stretch of DNA after a certain amount of radiation.

3…. The graphite drawings are an exploration of small pertubations, and the counterplay of chance and choice. The process constructs a space (whether it becomes geographical, biological, whatever) through a series of line-making. Small “errors” become amplified over time, and the process of undoing or embracing manifests itself slowly. The piece takes shape step-by-step and I personally draw parallels to the decisions we make in life.
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  1. 1 Hunter Mack, Pastor/al « OAKLAND SWEE(t)ART

    […] Click here to link to Hunter Mack’s Studio Visit and interview from April 2009 […]




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