Portfolio > Following Benford

Following Benford
Ash wood finished with wax and inset brass hinges
Dimensions range from 34" x 5 1/2" x 13 1/2" to 34" x 12" x 12"
2020

Following Benford, 2020
Ash wood finished with wax and inset brass hinges
Dimensions range from 34" x 5 1/2" x 13 1/2" to 34" x 12" x 12"

Following Benford graphs Benford's Law, a mathematical tool unofficially used by the IRS to detect tax fraud. Benford's Law maps the natural occurrence of the integers 1 through 9 at a logarithmic scale. It states that 1 appears the most frequently and 9 occurs the least in completely random sets of data, such as all of the numeric street addresses in Chicago.

This piece is the first in a series of three collapsible sculptures that will follow and then question the legitimacy of Benford's Law as a tool to determine fraud. This first iteration follows the proportions of Benford's Law perfectly. The width of the frames indicates the integer (1 through 9) while the height of the frame references the percentage the integer occurs in random data sets (for example, 30.1% for 1). The hinges are all set on the same side of the work, which allows for the predictable movement of curling and unfurling the sculpture. Later iterations will engage random frame heights and more complicated hinging mechanisms to create unpredictable rearrangements that question the aesthetic and practical legitimacy of Benford's Law.

Photographed by Amy Shelton.

On exhibit at LOCUS for LOCUS V, opens December 11th, 2020.