64 Doublings

64 Doublings, 2020; 4K-video, 15 min. loop

The animation is inspired by the origin myth of chess, initially recorded by a Kurdish scholar in the 13th century. Set in ancient India, this tale highlights a profound reverence for numbers, portraying exponential growth as a phenomenon of sublime significance. Much like many elements of contemporary mathematics, chess emerged from a vast exchange of cultural and intellectual wealth flowing from West Asia and the Indian subcontinent into Europe during the pre-modern era. Accompanied by a haunting soundtrack, the video transforms the calculations from the myth into a dream-like portrayal of exponentiality.

Texts accompanying the video. Laser Print on A3 copy paper.

Edited excerpts from:
Ibn Khallikan (1211 – 1282) In: Wafayāt al-Ayān (1274), translated by William MacGuckin de Slane. In: Ibn Khallikan’s Biographical Dictionary vol. 3. (published 1868)