Mathematics: A Beautiful Elsewhere
21 October 2011 › 18 March 2012
Mathematics: A Beautiful Elsewhere is a unique exhibition created by the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain with the aim of offering visitors, to use the mathematician Alexandre Grothendieck’s expression, “a sudden change of scenery.” The Fondation Cartier has opened its doors to the community of mathematicians and invited a number of artists to accompany them. They are the artisans and thinkers, the explorers and builders of this exhibition.
A large number of mathematicians and scientists contributed to the creation of this exhibition, and eight of them acted as its overseers: SIR MICHAEL ATIYAH, JEAN-PIERRE BOURGUIGNON, ALAIN CONNES, NICOLE EL KAROUI, MISHA GROMOV, GIANCARLO LUCCHINI, CÉDRIC VILLANI and DON ZAGIER. Representing a wide range of geographical backgrounds and mathematical disciplines, they work in areas such as number theory, algebraic geometry, differential geometry, topology, partial differential equations, probability, mathematics applied to biology…
They were accompanied by nine artists chosen for their exceptional ability to listen, as well as for their great sense of curiosity and wonder. All of these artists have exhibited at the Fondation Cartier in the past: JEAN-MICHEL ALBEROLA, RAYMOND DEPARDON AND CLAUDINE NOUGARET, TAKESHI KITANO, DAVID LYNCH, BEATRIZ MILHAZES, PATTI SMITH, HIROSHI SUGIMOTO and TADANORI YOKOO, as well as Pierre Buffin and his crew (BUF). They worked together to transform the abstract thinking of mathematics into a stimulating experience for the mind and the senses, an experience accessible to everyone.
The Fondation Cartier also invited a group of prestigious scientific institutions to participate: the Institut Henri Poincaré (IHP), the Institut d’Astrophysique de Paris (IAP), the European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA), the University of Bordeaux/LABRI and the European Space Agency (ESA).
Two exceptional contributions will make it possible to observe the real-time evolution of two major projects of contemporary science: experiments with matter being conducted by the CERN inside THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER (LHC), and the mapping of the early universe as recorded by THE PLANCK SPACECRAFT OF THE ESA whose data is being studied by European astronomers, notably at the IAP. In addition, Pierre-Yves Oudeyer and his colleagues at INRIA and Bordeaux University will display the latest results from their work, which concerns a SOCIETY OF ROBOTS ENDOWED WITH ARTIFICIAL CURIOSITY, the ERGO-ROBOTS. Their active presence in the exhibition is in itself an experiment that will allow these scientists to advance even further in their revolutionary research program.
The exhibition was developed in association with the Institut des Hautes Études Scientifiques (IHÉS) and under the patronage of UNESCO. It was coordinated by Hervé Chandès (General Director of the Fondation Cartier), Jean-Pierre Bourguignon (CNRS Research Director and Director of IHÉS), Michel Cassé (astrophysicist, CEA Research Director and Associate Researcher at IAP), with Giancarlo Lucchini, Thomas Delamarre and the entire staff at the Fondation Cartier. Visitors may continue to experience this “sudden change of scenery” via the exhibition catalog, an iPad application, the Fondation Cartier website, as well as by attending a series of events, the Nights of Uncertainty. Mathematics: A Beautiful Elsewhere is a geometric, algebraic, artistic and cinematographic mosaic that gives everyone a chance to experience fragments of mathematical beauty.
Hervé Chandès, General Director of the Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain