Portfolio: Jessica Wynne by Elisabeth Biondi


It is hard to imagine how one could turn chalkboard depictions of theoretical math- ematics into a beautiful photographic project, but Jessica Wynne has done just that. The project was inspired by two circumstances: Wynne has two close friends who are math-ematicians at the University of Chicago and whose work intrigued her. And on a trip to Jaipur, India – she is a photography profes-sor at the Fashion Institute of Technology who takes her students on study trips – she and her students visited an Indian school where some of the classes were taught on a rooftop by teachers using chalkboards. She took pictures of those chalkboards, and once she got home she took a closer look at them. They intrigued her, reminding her of the formulas on the chalkboards of her mathematician friends. Her new series began to take shape, and for the next year and a half, Wynne will document the formulas, problems, and thought processes that men and women in various institutions worldwide scrawl on their chalkboards. The book, Do Not Erase, to be published in 2020 by Princeton University Press, will include 100 photographs of these chalkboards.

31 January 2020