Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Repitit* (for Repetit*)

A few weeks ago, I traveled to the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, with a good friend and his son to check out the M. C. Escher exhibit on opening day. The winding staircases in this quaint little museum did not lead to nowhere, but to several large rooms filled with various Escher prints, drawings, and memorabilia. There were opportunities for visitors to learn simple printmaking techniques, along with a champagne reception that whimsically included animal crackers and cheddar-flavored "goldfish." Escher's style is highly repetitive, often involving interlocking tessellations. It's considered closely aligned with mathematics, but Escher himself did not appear to enjoy or excel at math. "Although I am absolutely without training or knowledge in the exact sciences," he said, "I often seem to have more in common with mathematicians than with my fellow artists." Sounding a bit like a rap artist, M. C. Escher rarely signed his work—instead, he would carve the letters MCE backwards into his print blocks. We found 17 examples of Repitit* in OhioLINK today and 362 in WorldCat. Locate this typo, delete, and repeat.

(M. C. Escher self-portrait, 1929, from Wikipedia.)

Carol Reid

No comments: