The Flocktree

2005-2006 ICE Project Grant
Dr. Jason Cantarella
Associate Professor
Department of Mathematics

A sculptural installation that explores the idea of division and grouping using concepts from computer science.

University of Georgia mathematics professor Jason Cantarella and his brother, artist and scenic designer, Luke Hegel-Cantarella, have created a mathematical sculpture entitled The Flocktree in the courtyard of the 159 Oneta Street building. The sculpture is composed of a flock of birds hanging in the air within a nesting collection of boxes that form a mathematical structure called an octree. An octree is a way to group objects together based on their positions in space.

“It is a highly effective way of organizing objects in spaces, but it appears fascinatingly random when displayed,” said Cantarella. “This raises many interesting issues about the role of intention and randomness in the way nearby objects are grouped and related to each other, and the way the eye processes space and order given certain visual aids and cues.”

Cantarella is a research mathematician and associate professor of mathematics. His research interests are focused in geometry and computation, and he has a particular interest in the visualization of mathematics. His scholarly work includes 19 published articles, including papers in the American Journal of Mathematics, Geometry and Topology, and Inventiones Mathematicae.

Hegel-Cantarella works primarily as a theatrical stage designer. He has designed over 50 productions including work for the theater, opera and ballet. His paintings have been exhibited at the Around the Coyote Festival (Chicago) and the Union League Gallery (Chicago), which presented his series of paintings, the Potsdam Project.

The Flocktree is supported by an ICE Project Grant and by Floor Group, Athens, GA.

For more information visit the Flocktree Web site.