Response from Prof. B.

Thanks for the comment, about the location and the condition of the Gabo sculpture. I haven't seen it myself, but I have seen a number of take-offs on the idea by a local artist, Abbott Lieberman, who managed to avoid some of the messiness by scoring his plexiglass quite accurately and using notches rather than glue to hold things together. Of course the computer representation of such configuration spaces is even purer, but it lacks some of the texture of plastic. I suppose some of the CS folks could simulate gobs of Duco cement and even introduce some randomness into the notching, all in the name of verisimilitude.

The "temperature" of colors has been used for some time as a way of suggesting a further dimension. Reichenbach was one of the foremost proponents of keying a fourth dimension using such a color-coding. Perhaps a properly colored figure in three-space would "leap out of space", an interesting way to simulate the extra-dimensional perception.

Oscillatory behavior usually seems connected with periodic phenomena that are described in terms of sines and cosines. Pendulum bobs, by their very nature, are constrained to lie on circles. Real ones tend to react to gravity, while the ones we deal with in many dynamic systems are free to "go over the top". A wave front can be considered as the boundary of a collection of circular waves, one for each point of the original object, so perhaps that is another link between circular phenomena and wave phenomena, although I don't see where that fits directly with oscillation. The phenomenon of interference patterns is related to focal curves, and also to resonance and beats in musics, a similarity that was at the basis of the collaboration "Fronts & Centers", with Prof. Gerald Shapiro of the Music Department (in the video at the Providence Art Club show until April 19.)