That a circle can’t be squared was proven in 1872. That gave rise to the metaphor of ‘squaring the circle’ to describe the impossible. You’ll recall that 22/7 aka π is transcendental and irrational; it’s a number that neither ends nor repeats. Forgetting their maths, media and politicians often talk of squaring circles when discussing crises, crises that never end but do repeat.
I challenged myself to explore circles within rectangles. It should have been easy since there are unnoticed circles almost everywhere we look. We usually don’t need to remember that flat maps, for example, are constructed from projections of the globe we live on; think of shadows cast by a light bulb from inside a spherical lampshade.
I opened a jar to find a rounded mould floating atop syrup. Soon after, I missed a moonrise due to cloud cover on a breezy night and caught a plane instead. I found shelter from wind-driven freezing rain in the excavated cairn at the top of Dublin’s Tibradden mountain. There I rested by a 19th century spiral carving inspired by megalithic art. Nearer home, I found barbed wire that ended world cup fever.
I have taken inspiration from children playing, air-sea rescue, urban decay, ceiling lights, emerging ferns, insects at work, a succulent in infrared and the architect, Renzo Piano (though not quite a ‘selfie’). There’s even a breeze-deformed soap bubble hinting at the transcendental and irrational nature of π, itself vitally important in both the Heisenberg uncertainty principle and Einstein’s general relativity equations. Mathematics matters.
The tools to make these photographs include telephoto, macro and wide-angle lenses. The digital techniques involved a focus stack, some high dynamic range stacks, two infrareds and an inversion (front cover). Some are pin sharp, others blurred atmospherically.
Perhaps serendipity is the more central theme.
The Bracket Books chapbooks are available for online purchase through FabHappy but perhaps you’d prefer to enquire here. They’re published each calendar month, each copy uniquely numbered and posted at the end of each month. Prices include packaging, delivery, all currency and inflation risks.
One calendar year (12 issues):
Republic of Ireland: €135
Rest of World: €145 / UK£125 / US$145
Any one issue:
Republic of Ireland: €14
Rest of World: €15 / UK£13 / US$15
Institutions add 30%