go figure :: art about mankind and mind



Opposites Attract in Worcester Exhibit of Art and Science

JD Sage {MY DAD} and Kevin Burns

J. D. Sage and Kevin Burns, two Worcester-area artists who are also scientists, are joining forces for an exhibit about the human figure and how humans figure things out – to be held at the Sprinkler Factory Gallery in October.

Go Figure: Art About Mankind and Mind marks the second time that Sage, 85, and Burns, 58, have collaborated to celebrate their shared interests in natural forms and mathematical formulas. The duo has been planning Go Figure since their first show together, 11 years ago, at the ages of 74 and 47.

Sage, who specializes in Applied Geology, is a retired professor of Civil Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Burns is a principal engineer in Cognitive Science and Artificial Intelligence at the MITRE Corporation.

Like their ages, the styles of these two artists are also “mirror reversed.” On one hand, Sage is a lefty who works with paint and pastels applied to geological substrates such as rocks and sand. His flagship piece, Dual Selfs, is a colorful sand print made with spray paint, oil crayon, and gold leaf. On the other hand, Burns is a righty who works in contours of wire and wood, applying psychological constraints to lines and spaces. His flagship piece, Thinking Through Art, is a transparent wire portrait drawn from one continuous line.

Although their hands are opposites, the minds of Sage and Burns are unified by a common interest in art and science. In 2014, Sage published an e-book extending the investigation of space and time that he began 11 years earlier in a 2003 paperback,MetaForms and MetaNudes etcetera. In 2015, Burns published an article in the Journal of Mathematics and the Arts that supports a theory of aesthetics he first presented 11 years earlier at a 2004 conference on artificial intelligence. Both artists will discuss their writings in non-technical talks to be delivered during Go Figure’s closing reception on October 26.

A preview and schedule are available on the artists’ website:http://www.ask-how.org/ The complete schedule of events is as follows:
• Gallery Hours and Guided Tours: Saturdays and Sundays, October 9-23, 1-4 p.m.
• Closing Reception with TED-Style Talks: Wednesday, October 26, 6-9 p.m.

All events are open to the public and free of charge, at the Sprinkler Factory Gallery on 38 Harlow Street in Worcester.
Go Figure is supported in part by a grant from the Worcester Arts Council, a local agency supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council.

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