a history of the domino problem by Michael Winter at Humboldt University & KM28 / 22+23.11.2023

a history of the domino problem is a performance-installation created by Michael Winter that traces the history of an epistemological problem in mathematics about how things that one could never imagine fitting together, actually come together and unify in unexpected ways. The work comprises a set of musical compositions and a kinetic sculpture that sonify and visualize rare aperiodic tilings (more commonly known as mosaics).

From November 17th to December 1st at the Lichthof Ost Exhibition Room of the Humboldt-Universität, the kinetic sculpture will be on display in an exhibition entitled a few thoughts on how things fit together… The exhibition will also include visual works by and in collaboration with Mareike Yin-Yee Lee in a constellation designed specifically for the Lichthof Ost.

Two live performances of the musical compositions will be presented by the Hague-based Kali Ensemble: İdil Yunkuş (violin), Giuseppe Sapienza (clarinet), Guillermo Arnedo Frías (clarinet), Beste Yıldız (cello), Joel Gester Suárez (synth), Nirantar Yakthumba (harmonium). The first performance, hosted at the Fritz-Reuter-Saal of the Humboldt-Universität on November 22nd, will feature a lecture by renowned Finnish mathematician Jarkko Kari (University of Turku) introducing the fascinating world of aperiodic tilings to the general public. For those who want to experience the music alone, the Kali Ensemble will perform longer versions of the pieces the following night on November 23rd at KM28.

The kinetic sculpture displays the mosaics using visual cryptography. In visual cryptography, a message is encrypted by dividing the information of the message into two ‘shadow’ images, which look completely random and independent of each other. The message is decrypted and revealed when the shadow images are combined/overlayed in a precise orientation.

In the kinetic sculpture of a history of the domino problem, the shadow images are printed on photomasks, which are essentially high-resolution transparencies: quartz wafers with a chrome coating etched at a pixel size ranging from nano- to micrometers. A high-precision, motorized multiaxis stage aligns the finely printed shadow images to reveal the mosaics (along with 3 other images of poetic texts inspired by the history of the domino problem).

a history of the domino problem by Michael Winter

Wednesday, 22.11.2023 | Doors 19:00 | Starts 19:30 CET
Universitätsgebäude am Hegelplatz (Fritz-Reuter-Saal), Dorotheenstrasse 24 in 10117 Berlin

Thursday, 23.11.2023| Doors 20:00 | Starts 20:30 CET
KM28 | Karl-Marx Strasse 28 in 12043 in Berlin-Neukölln

A FEW THOUGHTS ON HOW THINGS FIT TOGETHER… in collaboration with Mareike Yin-Yee Lee.
17.11—1.12.2023 | Doors/Start 19:00 CET
Humboldt-Universität | Lichthof (Ost) | Unter den Linden 6 in 10117 Berlin


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