Finity. A finite set.
The five polyhedrons displayed in this unique sculpture represent the only shapes in nature that have equal angles and edge lengths. Some consider these five regular shapes to be key in the development of geometry and mathematics, the disciplines that underlie all of Western science.
What better symbol to welcome visitors to Science Museum Oklahoma?
Greek philosopher Plato connected the five polyhedrons that make up the sculpture—the cube, octahedron, icosahedron, tetrahedron, and dodecahedron—to the five classical elements of his time:
Tetrahedron – fire | Octahedron – air | Cube – earth | Icosahedron – water | Dodecahedron – cosmos
The title, Finity, refers to the fact that one can mathematically prove that these five shapes are the only ones nature allows to have equal angles and edge lengths.
It is a finite set.
World-renowned artist and inventor Tom Shannon’s only permanent installation in the United States, Finity, is an awe-inspiring, interactive sculpture featuring five spinning polyhedrons stands 25 feet and is the focal point of the museum’s outdoor gathering space called Founder’s Plaza. The sculpture was commissioned by the Kirkpatrick Family Fund to honor the legacy of the museum’s founder John Kirkpatrick. Each shape is constructed of mirrored stainless steel, reflecting the Oklahoma skies as museum visitors push and pull the bottom pyramid. The inertia then transfers to pieces higher on the sculpture until all spin, sometimes synchronizing and sometimes not depending on the amount of force applied.