This exhibition was shown from March 3, 2007 to March 1, 2012.
Reception: Saturday March 3 2007, 7pm @ Museum of Jurassic Technology
9341 Venice Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232
Lecture: Saturday March 3 2007 @ 5pm
Join exhibit curator Christine Wertheim and IFF director Margaret
for a discussion about logic and a conversation with Dr. Shea Zellweger
@ Foshay Masonic Lodge
9635 Venice Blvd (2 Blocks West of the MJT)
models by Shea Zellweger.
1953, while working a hotel switchboard, Shea Zellweger began a
journey that would culminate in a radical new notation for formal
logic, the set of relations that underlies modern computing. From
a garage in Ohio, Zellweger developed a visual language he dubbed
the “Logic Alphabet,” in which a group of specially
designed letter-shapes are maneuvered like puzzles to reveal the
geometric patterns hidden beneath the symbolic web of logic. For
more than fifty years, Zellweger has been exploring the symmetries
and relations inherent in these patterns, which he has made manifest
in a series of delicately crafted wooden models and in thousands
of pages of diagrams. In this jewel-box exhibit, the Institute
For Figuring and the Museum of Jurassic Technology proudly present
Dr Shea Zellweger’s Logic Alphabet models and drawings.
The Logic Alphabet
Tesseract – a four-dimensional cube. Diagrams by Warren Tschantz.
work is based on a discovery that the logic on which our computers
run is allied with a geometric structure whose form is a tesseract,
a four-dimensional cube. Much of his research over the past
half century has aimed at identifying all the subsets of this group
of relations in one, two, and three dimensions. The resulting models
and diagrams, often crystalline in nature, constitute a genuine
research project in logic while simultaneously passing through
distinct aesthetic phases,
reminiscent of Russian Constructivism, concrete poetry and Pop Art. What
is most important here is that these physical models enable us manipulate logical
symbols spatially – we may learn to do logic by flipping and
rotating these marvelous toys.
Left: The Logical
Garnet, three dimensional projection of the Logic Alphabet tesseract.
Right: A cubic sub-group of the Logical Garnet.
That logic is
underpinned by a spatial architecture was independently discovered
at least six times in the history of mathematics, first by C.S.
Pierce, one of the pioneers of the field. For Zellweger this
fact is of more than purely formal significance - it is the seed
of a potential pedagogical revolution. Through model play, he proposes,
we may teach our infants logic in school. Like the great nineteenth
century creator of the kindergarten system of education, Friedrich
Froebel - himself an experienced crystallographer - Zellweger’s
models call forth the latent potentiality of the mind through engagement
of both the eyes and hands. This revolution would not be confined
to the schoolroom, for given that logic is the foundation of computing,
the alphabet might serve to re-envision the computer itself.
On Saturday March 3, please join exhibit curator
Christine Wertheim and IFF Director Margaret Wertheim in a conversation
with Dr Shea Zellweger at the Foshay Masonic Lodge in Culver
City (2 blocks west of the MJT). The event will be followed by
a reception at the Museum of Jurassic Technology, where the exhibit
is on display.
$15 general admission to Conversation and Reception
$12 IFF + MJT members, students, seniors
The Logic Alphabet is on view at the Museum of Jurassic Technology Thursday through Sunday 12noon – 6pm.
This exhibition was assisted by grants from the Annenberg
Foundation and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.
For more information on the Logic Alphabet see here [LINK]