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Benjamin Wells


"The Three Gates"

Inkjet on transparencies, mounted on acrylic layers in an acrylic frame hung by a laced beadchain, 11" x 9", hung by a beadchain, plus 11"x7" explanatory placard 2009 (updated from 2002).

Symbols from logic map a classical aphorism about watching one's tongue into a visually recursive statement. In addition, the colors of red and green play on the binary nature of electronic gates. An accompanying placard gives the aphorism and lists the symbols used.

Benjamin Wells, Professor of Mathematics and Professor of Computer Science, Department of Mathematics and Department of Computer Science, University of San Francisco
San Francisco, California

"The art offered is a melding of symbolism from science and mysticism. The flexibility of computer-aided design and execution supports this blend of ancient and modern expression. I used to think in threes because my name ends in III. (For more about small numbers, see Michael Schneider’s 'Constructing the Universe.') Although I am now partial to 8, 17, 36, 1111, and 10^10, I wholly support only 1 alone. But three things can start a sequence, give a contrast or equivalence, or triangulate. Here they pose visual riddle. Math is fun, and art can help make that clear. When it can also take a supportive, spiritual, inspirational, cooperative color, then it is a harbinger of a new humanity. I hope to make art that way."