From the time that humans invented counting, Mathematics has had a tremendous impact on society, arguably reshaping who we are as a species - from the invention of counting in ancient Sumeria in 8,000 BC to today’s ubiquitous use of artificial intelligence.
While almost every aspect of our lives, from finance to flight, are crucially dependent on modern mathematics, the lay person’s awareness of mathematics has been left behind in the 19th century. This lack of awareness is not just in mathematics, but in all aspects of modern specialization from health and medicine, to finance and even art (such as Artforum articles to the layperson). To advance science and technology, we continue to super-specialize in certain fields. But we do not maintain a corresponding focus on enhancing our communications to enable the rest of us to stay abreast. It is as if our understanding of the world, outside of experts in the field, is akin to thinking of the world as made of earth, wind, water and fire.
To create the images, I select mathematical objects discovered in the last 50 years, from journals aimed at graduate students. Using these, I conduct a casual survey asking what people believe the objects may be. The final images are single exposures, often over 20 minutes long, reflecting some of the responses from the survey including my own - a layperson's attempt at understanding the mathematical objects. The image titles are the names of the mathematical objects, and the caption is a simplified definition of that object.