Drawing with Spheres
A circle is a mathematical abstraction, and it cannot be materialized. This is a simple but also disconcerting statement. We have been exposed to drawing circles from the earliest moments of our education. As a term it is embedded in our language used to describe a variety of images, objects, and spaces. It is one of the most ordinary geometries. Nonetheless, we can neither draw nor build a circle. We can describe it as,Henri Poincare points out, by ratio of its radius and its circumference. We can also make a rough material approximation, a “round thing”, with a compass, a string, or a computer and a numerically controlled cutting device. In the construction of these “round things” the circle’s role is that of an instrument. The circle’s abstract geometric properties are used to define this new material thing that although it is round, is not a circle. In this instance the circle is an instrument, used to define new forms through its geometric properties.