chapter  3
The material labour of artful mathematics 1
ByElizabeth de Freitas
Pages 15

This chapter focuses on the materiality of mathematics, explores how artful and creative mathematics is a provisional media event. It also focuses on the emergence of fractal geometry in the twentieth century, in order to show how the 'intellectual surprises', so often attributed to mathematical insight, entail reconfiguring the perceptual capacities and material labour of the human body. A designation or judgement of beauty often appeals to the 'pure' sense of detached appreciation, and thereby eclipses the material labour of artful practices. Otto E. Rossler seems to be describing how sense and sense are melded together, emphasizing the power of material engagements with media. P. Lockhart's lament for the loss of mathematics-as-art reveals the same dubious assumption, as he distinguishes the "mundane 'useful' aspects would follow naturally as a trivial by-product" from the more central aesthetic activity of real mathematics.