CSDTs featured in Rashaad Newsome's Manhattan theater production

Feb. 24, 2022

Author: eglash

Quoting from “Rashaad Newsome Pulls Out All the Stops: Critic’s Pick” by Martha Schwendener, New York Times, Feb 24, 2022.

“Assembly,” Rashaad Newsome’s grand, opulent and smart exhibition at the Park Avenue Armory... goes light years beyond his formal forays into vogue, weaving together a video installation, collages, sculptures, an hourlong performance with dance and singers; and a workshop conducted by Being, a cloud-based artificial intelligence that Newsome designed. “Assembly” is a rich sensory experience, as well as a springboard for rethinking the roots of American culture…. Projected against the back wall are giant, abstract images based on computer-generated fractals — patterns created with repeating shapes — which Newsome calls “diasporic fractals.” The artist draws here from the mathematician Ron Eglash’s book “African Fractals: Modern Computing and Indigenous Design” (1999), which describes how fractals are at the heart of African design, from the layout of Ba-ila villages in Southern Zambia and Mokoulek in Cameroon to the designs on textiles and the royal insignia of tribal chieftains. More significant for Newsome, African fractals were imported to Europe in the 12th century, entering the field of mathematics and ultimately computer science. Eglash argues that “every digital circuit in the world started in Africa.”