Matasová, Adéla / The infinity of numbers
mixed technique, steel, digital motion, mirror steel, numerals, 50 × 50 × 25 cm
purchased 2020 with the support of the Czech Ministry
Two kinetic objects made of polished steel. The surface of one of the objects displays prime numbers from 2 to 97 plus the number 1, arranged in a meander-shaped structure. On the second object, the remaining numbers of the series are arranged in a similar configuration. These meandering sections move up and down in a regular rhythm, causing the numerals to emerge and then recede again. The numbers and their rhythmic up-and-down motion present us with interpretative questions. Prime numbers are unique in that they can only be divided by 1 or by themselves. Their indivisibility by other numbers may evoke sensations of exceptionality and originality. Prime numbers can thus be perceived as exceptional phenomena, or personalities which emerge periodically during the course of human history only to recede again, having left an important imprint on which society’s values are built. By using numbers, the artist can communicate on a generally comprehensible, semantically neutral level, unencumbered by more specific visual signs. Viewers can bring their own levels of interpretation to the work, decoding the processes of the numbers and their interrelations.