Playing with Phi, Lahinch Beach 2003

(Playing with Phi was originally posted on indymedia ireland December 09, 2003::The idea for it was initially posted on Archeire, way back on 25th August 2001)

“Playing with Phi”
On Sunday the 9th of December 2003 a piece of land art was done on the beach of Lahinch in county Clare. It was done by 4 people for a few different reasons.

(image from “playing with phi” on the edge of europe )

What is Phi?
Phi is an irrational number (1.6.18….), which is a found in all aspects of nature, and supposedly using it as a proportion leads to the most beautiful shapes, many of the ancient Greek sculptors and builders used to use it. You can see it roughly on the proportions between your knuckles, or the shapes of images of galaxies. some people know the number as “gods favourite number”

Why was it done?
A few reasons- 2 and a half years ago, a few of us had the idea to do it, but in never materialised for different reasons. Thankfully now a few things have come together and it happened.
3 of the 4 of us who did it were at the Shannon peace demonstration the previous day, so “playing with phi” was done as a memory to the innocents who have died in wars. A white plastic flag was put up for this reason.

What did we do?
We worked out the maths of constructing a phiplate, where by successive squares led from a timber board out to the sea, we then drew a spiral, the golden spiral, and filled in the hole left in the sand with seaweed bits.
We took pictures and documented it
We wrote in the sand “sin e anois, mar taimid beo anois” which is roughly the gaeilge or irish for “that’s it now, because we are alive now”
We went into the sea, danced and roared

The board read:
Playing with phi
Phi , sigma , pi
(These are the greek letters for )
F, S, P
These letters also stand for
Which stands for
An arrow with “next stop new york @ 3000 miles”
Phi = 1.618……. (toward infinity)
Gods favourite number

People stopped and and asked us what it was about, we informed them they would soon be able to find out by looking at the indymedia website.

My mother is from Lahinch and I have spent much of my life wandering about the beach and sea at Lahinch. My relations; Mary, Pat and Mark Shannon gave much invaluable help, tea and biscuits to us, thanks

The FUSPEY network uses art to communicate and when felt necessary: art to challenge ( in a non violent way)
FUSPEY is about feeling alive

thanks to all who helped make it happen

Related Link:
Nice film that explores the oddness of these numbers that are found in nature;

π (pi)

(image from FUSPEY 2004 )

6 Responses to Playing with Phi, Lahinch Beach 2003

  1. fuspey says:

    regarding phi

    you can watch the filml π [Pi] in which there are some nice images of phi in nature, ie the swirl in the coffee cup, the swirl of smoke

    watch film here:

    to get an overview watch the trailer: Pi Trailer – Darren Aronofsky

  2. fuspey says:

    Nice architectural vid with slides from Catalan eco-architect Gabriel Barbeta
    Conferencia Consciència Arquitectònica COAC. to be opened with real player

    Gabriel Barbeta web

    related link

  3. dunk says:

    The golden ratio has fascinated Western intellectuals of diverse interests for at least 2,400 years:

    Some of the greatest mathematical minds of all ages, from Pythagoras and Euclid in ancient Greece, through the medieval Italian mathematician Leonardo of Pisa aka “Fibonacci” and the Renaissance astronomer Johannes Kepler, to present-day scientific figures such as Oxford physicist Roger Penrose, have spent endless hours over this simple ratio and its properties. But the fascination with the Golden Ratio is not confined just to mathematicians. Biologists, artists, musicians, historians, architects, psychologists, and even mystics have pondered and debated the basis of its ubiquity and appeal. In fact, it is probably fair to say that the Golden Ratio has inspired thinkers of all disciplines like no other number in the history of mathematics.
    —Mario Livio, The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, The World’s Most Astonishing Number

    The Golden Ratio: The Story of Phi, the World’s Most Astonishing Number (Hardcover)

  4. fuspey says:

    from the film Pi view this scene from 2 mins in… great stuff

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: