PI DayArt & AI

Nettrice Gaskins
3 min readMar 14, 2023
Nettrice Gaskins, “Pi Sisters I,” 2023. Created using Midjourney and Deep Dream Generator.

Pi is mathematical. Every March 14th people celebrate Pi Day—an annual celebration of the mathematical constant π — by eating pies and posting images of circles on Instagram: 3, 1, and 4 are the first three significant figures of π. Pi speaks to a world without bounds because its digits are never-ending and non repeating. It is a bridge that connects the normal world with the abstraction of math.

John Sims

Math has been called a queen of the sciences and it is language of nature, from fractals to circles. Ron Eglash is famous for his African fractals research. John Sims explored how the metaphors and metaphysics of math, art, and nature intersect. Fred Eversley’s practice has consisted of a nearly monastic dedication to the extraordinary problem-idea of the parabola.

African fractals (schematic plan of a large farm enclosure in Cameroon)
Fred Eversley

Inspired by this I created the top image and the following one using Midjourney and Deep Dream Generator. I included “Pi” and “circles” in my text prompts (with other words) and posted the results on social media. I love the subtle ways that circles are presented in the Midjourney images. Lately, I’ve been using Deep Dream Generator’s “text-2-dream” feature to soften the images and give the people more natural looking colors, tones and textures. The fine tuning of Midjourney output using other software is just one part of my evolving image editing process.

Nettrice Gaskins, “Pi Sisters II,” 2023. Created using Midjourney and Deep Dream Generator.

For John Sims, Pi has been part of a journey to link math and art, especially through quilt making. He created grids of squares that were colored according to the sequence of Pi’s digits. These Pi-generated grids reminded him of quilts. Sims collaborated with quilt makers to produce 13 mathematical quilts. In one quilt, he converted the digits of Pi to base 2, which means each digit became either a 1 or 0 (binary).

Nettrice Gaskins, “Pi Sista,” 2023. Created using Midjourney and Deep Dream Generator.

With my AI-generated (or assisted) images, the circle was the key element to represent Pi. Pi is the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. In “Pi Sista” you can see many multi-colored circles, including lines across them as if created parts of circles (diameter, radius). There is a colorful, harmonious arrangement of Pi.

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Nettrice Gaskins

Nettrice is a digital artist, academic, cultural critic and advocate of STEAM education.