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Acclaimed “Math Artist” John Sims to speak at Texas State

Date of Release: 04/11/2005

SAN MARCOS—Acclaimed artist and mathematician John Sims, Coordinator of Mathematics at Ringling School of Art and Design, will present two lectures April 13-14 at Texas State University-San Marcos in conjunction with Common Experience.

Sims will discuss his Confederate flag art project, “Recoloration Proclamation,” 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 13 in the LBJ Teaching Theatre in the LBJ Student Center on campus. At 4 p.m. Thursday, April 14, Sims will present "Notes of a Math Artist" in room 315 of the Academic Services Building South. Both speaking events are free and open to the public.

“Recoloration Proclamation” consists of large flags designed like the Confederate battle flag but recolored to reflect different views of the same symbols--one, for example, is colored red, black and green to reflect Africa; another is black on white; another is white on black, etc. The display dramatizes the symbol and reminds those who might claim it as a part of their heritage that it is as much a part of African American heritage as it is anyone’s.

“The symbol of the Confederate Flag is still a hurtful reminder of a painful past to African Americans,” Sims says, “just as the swastika is still hurtful to the Jews.”

Texas State philosophy professor Jeffrey Gordon, Ph.D., will lead a discussion about symbols and their personal and cultural effects following Sim’s presentation.

In “Notes of a Math Artist,” Sims will discuss his efforts to advance a mathematical art that explores subject matters in a philosophical-metaphoric context. By cross-pollinating symbols and ideas that are both cultural and mathematical, he seeks to create a project of works that promote a deeper visual and conceptual critique of objects of both nature and mind. Using a tree-root metaphor as a basis, as seen in his Math and Art Series, he aims to create a new kind of metaphorical mathematical art.

To learn more about Sims, visit his website at http://www.johnsimsprojects.com/. For additional information about the Common Experience at Texas State, visit http://www.reslife.txstate.edu/commonexperience/.