Recursion

Like In Love and Soaring and several others, Recursion began as an intellectual exploration of a mathematical notion, “recursion”, which was important at that time in my scientific research into animal intelligence. As always when I play games like this, the idea fell away as the form took shape, and I forgot about it until later. I recently completed an enlargement in red travertine, Red Recursion I, and am working on Red Recursion II in the same material.

The concept of recursion refers to recurring, self-referential processes that modify themselves each time they occur.  Successive applications build on each other, “recursively”.  Falling in love and falling in hate are two examples because once they begin, everything that happens reinforces them; unless something intervenes from outside to change things, they accelerate toward an inevitable conclusion.  The thrill of discovery is similarly explosive, and this is one of the greatest personal benefits for me in sculpting.  The smooth, automatic regulation of our body temperature is another, very different kind of example of recursive processes.  

This sculpture reminds me of the ubiquity of recursive processes in nature.

Photos by Lee Gass.