Mariah Doren and Johanna Paas, "Math & Nature Series: Ln II", from the series "Math & Nature Series", 2010, archival inkjet prints, intalgio, and watercolor, 30x22"

Mariah Doren and Johanna Paas, “Math & Nature Series: Ln II”, from the series “Math & Nature Series”, 2010, archival inkjet prints, intalgio, and watercolor, 30×22″

Mariah Doren and Johanna Paas

“The Math & Nature Series” is a collaborative project between Mariah Doren and Johanna Paas. Individually, we make work that is both visually and technically different, as Johanna makes mixed media prints with an emphasis on color and abstraction, while Mariah works photographically to create composite landscapes. The common ground between our very different work lies in a search to articulate the relationship between structure and nature. We seek to describe the dichotomous and at the same time codependent interaction between order and chaos. This project is evidence of our interest in the tension between order that is innate and order that is imposed, including the troublesome issue of even defining what nature means. In working to apply that inquiry to the process of collaboration itself, we created layered, mixed-media, overlapping images, using mathematical equations as a kind of parameter setting or rule that serve as a way to externalize the concepts which underpin the work.

Pi is a formula we find evidence of everywhere: infinity, perfection.
Cosine represents self in relation to the other: opposites as well as codependency.
Ln denotes ever-increasing change: exponential growth or decay.

Mariah Doren is a Professor at Parsons, the New School for Design. She received her MFA in Photography from the Pratt Institute in 1997 and will receive her PhD in Art Education from Columbia University in 2011. She has taught at SUNY Purchase, Columbia University, Central Michigan University, the International Center for Photography, and the School of Visual Arts, among others. Her work has been shown nationally at the Alexandria Museum of Art (Alexandria, LA), Saginaw Museum of Art (Saginaw, MI), Soho Photo Gallery and Umbrella Arts Gallery (both in NYC), and Rochester Contemporary Art Center and Visual Studies Workshop (both in Rochester, NY), among others. Doren’s work is also in the permanent collections of the Brooklyn Historical Society, the University of Minnesota’s Regis Center for Art, and the Museum of Anthropology at California State University. She has also contributed to several publications on the topic of Arts Education such as 20 Under 40: Re-Inventing the Arts and Arts Education for the 21st Century and Teaching Photography: Tools for the Imaging Educator, among others.

Johanna Paas is an Associate Professor of Printmaking within the Department of Art and Design at Central Michigan University. She received her BFA from the University of Michigan and taught courses at Grand Valley State University before beginning her tenure at CMU in 2002. Her artwork has been exhibited in over fifty national invitational and juried exhibitions, at venues including the Central Michigan Multicultural Educational Center (Mount Pleasant, MI), the Garden Gallery (San Juan Bautista, CA), Gertrude Stein Institute of Art (August, GA), and Shy Rabbit Contemporary Arts (Pagosa Springs, CO). Paas’ work is also in the permanent collections of several universities nationwide, including the Louisiana State University Print Archives, the University of Minnesota, the Michaelis School of Fine Art in Cape Town, South Africa, and the Rare book Collection at University of Georgia, among others. She is an active member of professional print organizations including the Mid-America Print Council and currently serves as membership chairperson for the Mid-America Print Council. In 2011, she will do a residency at the Can Serrat International Art Center in El Bruc, Spain.