The Alhambra is Spain’s most significant and well-known Islamic architecture. M.C. Escher visited on at least two occasions and his sketches of Alhambra, along with those of his wife, informed his artwork style.  According to the text Visions of Symmetry he sketched a portion of a wall in Alhambra on 0ctober 20 1922 and again between May and June 1936 he and his wife made numerous sketches.

Schattschneider, Doris. Visions of Symmetry: Notebooks, Periodic Drawings, and Related Work of M.C. Escher. W.H. Freeman and Company. New York, 1990.


A tessellation is a repeating pattern that fills a space without overlapping. In Latin, the word “tessera” means a “small, stone cube.” The mosaics that formed floors and tiles in Roman homes and buildings were often laid out in tessellated patterns. Tessellating patterns and floral designs in complex geometrical arrangements, usually in tiles, are also common motifs in Islamic art.

In Islam, tessellated decorative arts, such as tiles, textiles, pottery and architecture, are often called “zillij,” which is an art with a foundation in “learning, discipline and faith.” Islam teaches that life is based on a universal, cosmic intelligence, so ancient and modern zillij artists try to inspire their viewers into an appreciation of the laws that govern the universe. You can view representations of zillij art in Morocco and in other predominantly Islamic countries and cities, on the walls and floors of mosques, homes, public water fountains, tombs and architecture.


-Sherry Hames, More from this Source


Renée Green

Professor Renée Green is an artist, filmmaker and writer. Via films, essays and writings, installations, digital media, architecture, sound-related works, film series and events her work engages with investigations into circuits of relation and exchange over time, the gaps and shifts in what survives in public and private memories as well as what has been imagined and invented. She also focuses on the effects of a changing transcultural sphere on what can now be made and thought.

Her exhibitions, videos and films have been seen throughout the world in museums, biennales and festivals.

Green was Professor and Dean of Graduate Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute when Jenn was a graduate student there. During her tenure as Dean she directed Spheres of Interest, the Graduate Lecture Series, a series that continues to influences Jenn’s perspective on international contemporary art practice.

More about Renée Green

Analog-to-Digital | Digital-to-Analog

Systems employed by the Art + Artificial Intelligence Research Group that convert analog artifacts to digital artifacts (analog-to-digital) and digital artifacts to analog artifacts (digital-to-analog), and the process of such conversions. Information is lost and interpolated in both conversions.

John Cage

“In the nature of the use of chance operations is the belief that all answers answer all questions.”

n 1952, David Tudor sat down in front of a piano for four minutes and thirty-three seconds and did nothing. The piece 4’33” written by John Cage, is possibly the most famous and important piece in twentieth century avant-garde. 4’33” was a distillation of years of working with found sound, noise, and alternative instruments. In one short piece, Cage broke from the history of classical composition and proposed that the primary act of musical performance was not making music, but listening.

Born in Los Angeles in 1912, Cage studied for a short time at Pamona College, and later at UCLA with classical composer Arthur Schoenberg. There he realized that the music he wanted to make was radically different from the music of his time. “I certainly had no feeling for harmony, and Schoenberg thought that that would make it impossible for me to write music. He said ‘You’ll come to a wall you won’t be able to get through.’ So I said, ‘I’ll beat my head against that wall.’” But it wasn’t long before Cage found that there were others equally interested in making art in ways that broke from the rigid forms of the past. Two of the most important of Cage’s early collaborators were the dancer Merce Cunningham and the painter Robert Rauschenberg.

Together with Cunningham and Rauschenberg at Black Mountain College, Cage began to create sound for performances and to investigate the ways music composed through chance procedures could become something beautiful. Many of Cage’s ideas about what music could be were inspired by Marcel Duchamp, who revolutionized twentieth-century art by presenting everyday, unadulterated objects in museum settings as finished works of art, which were called “found art,” or ready-mades by later scholars. Like Duchamp, Cage found music around him and did not necessarily rely on expressing something from within.

American Masters: John Cage


The drawing of a conclusion about some missing information by a process of deduction or induction based on present information. For example, given only the fragmentary statement “Claudel made__ version of the work: one she placed in the Hotel Biron and on she gave to ___,” we can interpolate that Claudel made two version s of the work, but we cannot tell to whom she gave one of them. In its simplest sense, interpolation means that we are able to reconstruct some lost portions of a damaged work, as is routinely done in archaeological reconstruction. On a more complex level, interpolation is one of the stages in the phenomenology of interpretation, since meaning is currently understood as something theoretically infinite produced by a finite number of indications within a text. Compare metaphysics of presence.

Source: Sharon Grace Glossary

Laura U. Marks

I work on media art and philosophy with an intercultural focus, and on small-footprint media. My most recent books are Hanan al-Cinema: Affections for the Moving Image (MIT, 2015) and Enfoldment and Infinity: An Islamic Genealogy of New Media Art (MIT, 2010). I program experimental media for venues around the world. As Grant Strate University Professor, I teach in the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, on unceded Coast Salish territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) nations.


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