Falke Pisano’s Learning in Proximity (2015) belongs to a body of work that investigates the cultural values embedded in mathematics.
‘Two years ago, by chance, I read a text about how cultural values have permeated the way we think about mathematics and mathematics education. Although I was aware of how mathematics has been instrumentalised, more often than not maintaining and pushing inequality, I realised then that I was still attached to the idea of mathematics as a universal, purely abstract—and therefore value-free—language. I even considered it as one, potentially complete, body of knowledge. The text, which advocated an anti-racist review of maths education, offered a more complex view. In my eagerness, I absorbed this as a full antithesis: mathematics fallen off the pedestal of logic and reason, covered with the dirt of past and present, insisting on a claim to “truth” that had long been revealed as a delusion. A mathematics pretending to be one perfect language developed in an almost perfect linear way, to conceal that it is in fact a set of mathematics appropriated by various groups of people throughout a series of cross-cultural encounters. Finally, a mathematics that is unable to accept that it is but one amongst many—different but equal.’
Learning in Proximity, 2015
Wood, fabric, paper, leather, pencil
88.5 x 45.5 x 69 cm
€4,000 (excl. VAT and shipping)