The Art of Merete Rasmussen, a Game About Squares, and VAX!

Welcome to this week’s Math Munch! We’ve got a pair of new games for you to play later, but first I want to share something beautiful and impressive.

Hyperseeing Summer '14

Ready for some mathematical art? The new issue of Hyperseeing begins with a review of Merete Rasmussen’s ceramic sculpture. Merete is a Danish artist who lives in London, and her recent work features complex and beautiful, smooth two-dimensional surfaces.

Editor Nat Friedman’s writeup begins with this wonderful quote by Rasmussen:


“I want to create a form that you can’t understand until you see the other side. You have to look at it for a while to realize how it is connected.”

Merete Rasmussen at work

Merete Rasmussen at work

A lot of mathematical work is done just trying to describe and understand the ideas or pictures in our head. Merete’s sculpture get us to do math as we try to understand the nature of her sculptural surfaces. How many sides do they have? How many edges? How many holes? I just love that.

Blue Gray

The article is very enjoyable, and I encourage you to read the entire text, but what got me hooked, what completely mesmerized and inspired me, was a video about Merete’s work and process that I found referenced at the end of the article. The video is presented in dual screen, which is really fantastic, because just like Merete’s sculptures, you may need to view it a couple of times to catch all that’s going on.

I recommend the full video. I recommend full screen.

You can learn more about Merete Rasmussen and view more of her work at her website,

* * *

OK, now on to a couple of new games.

Game About Squares

Game About Squares“Right from the start I was thinking about creating a simple game, with simple graphics and simple game design.” That’s what 26-yr old Andrey Shevchuk said about his recent creation, “Game About Squares.” You’ll find as you play, however, that these little puzzles can get oh so complicated, despite their simple presentation.

I love imagining how Andrey must have had to think creatively to keep developing his simple idea in new ways, and I love the way that the puzzles get us to think in new ways. All in all, this is just a wonderful game.

Oh, and thinking about the very viral 2048, Andrey had this to say,

“Squares are trendy.  Hexagons aren’t even close, let alone triangles.”


Screen Shot 2014-08-08 at 9.29.36 PMThat’s short for vaccine, in case you don’t know.  The Salathé Group recently released a game about vaccinations and fighting the spread of epidemics (previously). The game is called VAX!, and it’s based on a graph theory representation for the spread of disease. Take the tour and you’ll learn everything you need to play.

There’s also a module that explains herd immunity. That’s where random vaccines are used to isolate the potentially infected from potential carriers of the disease.

Bon appetit.  Dig in!

15 responses »

  1. I really enjoyed the video on her art/sculpture because there one of those pieces were you have to look , look, look, and look until you find how the pieces are put together.

  2. Her artwork is beautiful!! I am absolutely amazed. I showed my mom and she loves it also. I have no hope in making art work like this but I have to accept that. Hahaha!!

  3. That was absolutely lovely! My favorite part of her work was that she takes her time and also gives all she has as a artist. The colors of the pieces were wonderful because she just doesn’t us one, she uses all kinds of colors.

  4. I just loved it! Very creative and its just different like she said in the clip you just have to look at it for a while to understand it and that is exactly what I did. I pause the clip once it showed the sculpture and at last I understand . I love her work of art and I would really want to try this , to bad in really bad at these scuplture thing. Over al I really enjoyed this video.

  5. I thought How she made the clay was very interesting and creative and fun to think about how she did it. I would have to ask what types of tools she uses or i f she just uses her hands.

  6. I also thought both games fun but hard and really interesting. I really liked the game about squares because its such a simple concept but in reality its very hard. VAX was also very hard but i thought it was an interesting concept. I remember a show i saw once about a guy who created a video game to see how cancer spread and how it worked. I remember a demonstration of the gam and it looked something like VAX. I wonder if th ey are the same game, I think they demostrat similar concepts.

  7. The video was fascinating and her artwork is beautiful!! Questions I have are what kinds of math does she use to make a piece of art? What kinds of patterns or strategies does she use?

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