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Algorithmic Aesthetics: Geometric Patterns, Amthāl, and the Qur'an

Algorithmic Aesthetics: Geometric Patterns, Amthāl, and the Qur'an

((c) Carol Bier, 2019; Photograph by Myron Bement Smith 1937. Black and white negative (L243-10) [Myron Bement Smith Collection, Freer Gallery of Art Archives])

Lovely SMRN Meeting of March 2019

SMRN had a meeting on March 30, in the lovely springtime, with members joining including: Azadeh Emadi, Carol Bier, Çigdem Borucu, Laura Marks, Nezih Erdogan, Siying Duan, Somayeh Khakshoor and Wael El Allouche.

Two of our members, Çigdem Borucu and Carol Bier, presented their work in progress.

Çigdem, an electroacoustic composer, has for some time been writing works to accompany silent film, and recently began studying Turkish traditional music. She shared her composition in progress based on an Ottoman silent film of the inauguration of the last sultan, Mehmet IV: a melancholy piano work mediating Western and Turkish qualities.


Carol presented new findings in her long-term work on algorithmic aesthetics in classical Islamic architecture: the two 11th-century towers in Kharraqan, Iran whose Qu’ranic inscription boasts about the complexity of their geometric ornament. Interesting resonances arose between the rhythmic pattern in Çigdem’s music creation and the classical patterns Carol is studying. As always, thrilling discussion ensued.

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