A group of projects which give material presence to data, using Cuisenaire rods, an educational toy developed to help children learn mathematics.
In Ancient Greece, philosophers proposed four fundamental elements: earth, air, fire, water, each having its own properties. These have been used by belief systems such as astrology to categorise and understand human behaviour. This project began with the question ‘how might such systems change if a greater range of elements were available?’. The periodic table, and the atomic weights of the listed fundamental elements, have been used to produce a series of brooches using Cuisenaire rods. What are the characteristics of personas associated with iron, calcium, manganese or other elements?
Photographs Brenton McGeachie.
Dunbar’s numbers, 2017
This series of brooches embody the limits of social group sizes that anthropologist Robin Dunbar has proposed an individual can maintain at any time. Five closest, most intimate friends & relations, fifteen you can turn to for sympathy and support, around one hundred and fifty close friends, about five hundred acquaintances, and fifteen hundred people you’ve met and can name. Do such limits inspire feelings of scarcity or overwhelm? What is the impact of social media pressures to form extended networks?
Photograph Brenton McGeachie
© Dierdre Pearce