The Making & Meaning of Antonio Cortez’ 3D Mathematical I Ching Chart

Below the jump our CCA Community Student Fellow, Bianca Sandiko, interviews exhibiting artist Antonio Cortez about his “3D Mathematical I Ching Chart” as part of Get Lucky: The Culture of Chance. The exhibition is open for viewing this week  Tues.–Thurs.,12-7pm, and closes on  Thursday, January 26, 6–9pm with a reception & discussion panel.

What is your piece for Get Lucky: The Culture of Chance?
A reinterpretation of the I Ching, “The Book of Changes”What is the I Ching and how is it used?
The I Ching has been used in history for divination but in reality it is a book about introducing change in one’s life.  Each of the hexagrams’ corresponding stories are  full of  interpretation, very metaphorical, and each interpretation is supposed to correspond to the context of one person’s life.

Let’s say I want to know what this exhibition is going to mean for my artistic life… With that question in mind, I cast a hexagram by throwing coins to compose each of the lines of the hexagram, and then do a reading.  A reading is supposed to give you a good view of the situation that your are in, and once you have that deep understanding you can then choose to introduce that change into your life.

How did you use chance operations in the creation of your piece? 
In this project, I developed this system of mathematical formulations and then cast the geometry for each of these formulas. They make very interesting objects and I used the process of chance operations to create the chart.

The piece goes with a video that takes the viewer through each of the hexagrams and tells the hexagram’s name and meaning and shows an image of the original and new hexagrams. The video goes on to talk about the principles of the I Ching. I set up the video so that every viewer’s experience of the video will be determined by chance.

What do you hope the viewer experiences? 
My hope is that the hexagram first seen by the viewer is the one that most corresponds to them and resonates with them.

Pictured: 3D Mathematical I Ching Chart, 2011, archival pigment print on paper, 48″ x 40″, by Antonio Cortez