Poetry ⨂ maths ?
Alexis Fedorjaczenko says: "From a series of cut-up poems and poem objects made with early-pandemic news sources, this piece is constructed from an article found in The Japan Times and printed on vellum paper, then cut, glued, curled, and formed into shape. The article got under my skin for the composure with which it addresses uncertainty we face while grasping for more — "facts and figures seem to leap from every surface," Takahashi writes, acknowledging so plainly it sings for me that "some numbers might matter more than others" and that "the numbers we don't know — or can't possibly know" are just as important as the ones we do know; "each bite of information illuminates a different aspect of the situation." Then-Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel, who holds a doctorate in physics, is cited as a rare exception to the article's truism "mathematical epidemiology is often lost on politicians, much less their constituents," which gives title to this poem object. I hold a master's degree in public health, specializing in health policy, and have struggled philosophically in my career with the limitations of the data we turn to in the hope of mathematically modeling the world in a recognizable way, nevermind the language we use to talk about it. The acts of poetic alteration in this series are, for me, a way to express and transcend these tensions."