read

i brought four boxes of books with me; ones that had been languishing on the shelf waiting for attention.  i’ll post new titles as i work my way through.

here are the first ones in the pile:

Why Beauty Is Truth:

A History of Symmetry

by Ian Stewart (Author)

At the heart of relativity theory, quantum mechanics, string theory, and much of modern cosmology lies one concept: symmetry. In Why Beauty Is Truth, world-famous mathematician Ian Stewart narrates the history of the emergence of this remarkable area of study. Stewart introduces us to such characters as the Renaissance Italian genius, rogue, scholar, and gambler Girolamo Cardano, who stole the modern method of solving cubic equations and published it in the first important book on algebra, and the young revolutionary Evariste Galois, who refashioned the whole of mathematics and founded the field of group theory only to die in a pointless duel over a woman before his work was published. Stewart also explores the strange numerology of real mathematics, in which particular numbers have unique and unpredictable properties related to symmetry. He shows how Wilhelm Killing discovered “Lie groups” with 14, 52, 78, 133, and 248 dimensions-groups whose very existence is a profound puzzle. Finally, Stewart describes the world beyond superstrings: the “octonionic” symmetries that may explain the very existence of the universe.

Watching Words Move

by Ivan Chermayeff, Tom Geismar

Words have the power to move. In 1962 a modest design studio created its own riff on that statement in the form of a small booklet of typographic brilliance, and changed forever how designers thought about the graphic potential of words. Decades later, the impact of watching words move is still felt. Never before had the idea been so lucidly and playfully expressed that type itself could speak, that word-forms carried their own implied visual meanings; that the placement of letters on the page could suggest motion, narrative, emotion just about anything. Now widely available for the first time, this reproduction of the original includes thoughts by influential designers George Lois, April Greiman, Kit Hinrichs, Michael Carabetta, and Steven Heller on the lasting impact of this lively type primer, and presents its still-fresh innovation to new generations of designers.

Beauty and Other Monsters

for those that saw my talk Beauty and Other Monsters @ SNAG 2010 in houston, here is a partial bibliography for that lecture.

Regarding Beauty:  A View of the Late Twentieth Century, Neal David Benezra, Olga M. Viso, Arthur Canto, Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Corporate Author), Haus der Kunst Munchen (Corporate Author), 2000

Sticky Sublime, Bill Bekley, (Editor), 2001

A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful, Edmund Burke, Adam Phillips, 1998

History of Beauty, Umberto Eco, Alastair McEwen, 2004

Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime, Immanuel Kant, Goldwaithe, 2004

Six Names of Beauty, Crispin Sartwell, 2006

Survival of the Prettiest:  the Science of Beauty, Nancy Etcoff, 2000

The Abuse of Beauty: Aesthetics and the Concept of Art (Paul Carus Lectures), Arthur Danto, 2003

Unnatural Wonders:  Essays for the Gap Between Art and Life, Arthur Danto, 2005

Venus in Exile:  The Rejection of Beauty in Twentieth Century Art, Wendy Steiner, 2002

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