Order of Operations

Curatorial proposal

Why is mathematics so often perceived as an abstract subject, disconnected from reality, when actually it is the basic formalism humans created to understand everything in the universe, if not the very nature of the universe itself?
Is it possible to experience mathematics, moving beyond the printed pages of school textbooks and classroom blackboards?

Starting from these premises, Order of Operations unfolds in the vast space at the crossroads between artistic representations and mathematical objects, presenting the works of Belgian and international artists who – more or less consciously, more or less deliberately – have created pieces that make us experience maths in different ways.

The relationship between art and mathematics goes way back, to the very beginning of civilization, and it developed across continents and cultures for millennia.

In early Islamic culture, art and science joined in intricate star-shaped architectural geometries. The most famous figure of the Renaissance, the Italian polymath Leonardo Da Vinci, was simultaneously a painter, sculptor, engineer, botanist, and scientist.

In the West, the separation of disciplines – the so-called two cultures, scientific and humanistic – took place during the 19th century. It is at that time that mathematician Carl Friedrich Gauss is said to have claimed that “Mathematics is the queen of the sciences”.

While both disciplines share their origins in the representation and interpretation of the physical world, over time, their methodologies diverged.

The scientific school of thought became largely driven by specialization and hypothesis-based enquiries.

Art, in turn, developed its own schools and methods. Far from the vocation for a universal truth, it turned towards offering interpretations of ourselves, our experiences, our world.

Nonetheless, there are many points of convergence between art and mathematics we can see today.

Articulated in two main chapters, about representation and application, the works of the 17 artists presented visualise, interpret, apply, or unveil these convergences. Through their creations, Order of Operations aims to start conversations about a more integrative approach to mathematics and the arts.


  • Amandine David, France / Belgium
  • Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker, Belgium
  • Sabina Hyoju Ahn, South Korea
  • Lab[au], Belgium
  • Robert J. Lang, USA
  • Philippe Leblanc, Belgium
  • Joanie Lemercier, France / Belgium
  • Momoko Noguchi, Japan
  • Ohme, Belgium
  • Rybn, France
  • Guillaume Schweicher, Belgium
  • Michel Tombroff, Belgium
  • Frederik Vanhoutte, Belgium
  • Valery Vermeulen, Belgium
  • Roger Vilder, France
  • Boris Wilmot & François Gaspart, Belgium

Practical information

FREE ENTRY upon registration : https://bit.ly/TicketsOoO


Bozar Lab, Rue Ravenstein 23, 1000 Bruxelles


Tue – Sun, 10:00 – 18:00
Closed on Monday

Visits for school classes:  
Tue – Fri, 8 June ’21 – 30 June ’21
Reservation for school classes through Bozar Call Center. 

Do you want to make the most of your visit? Every Saturday morning from 10am until 12pm, our mediators are there to answer all your questions in the exhibition.
FR, EN: 05/06, 19/06, 03/07
NL, EN: 12/06, 26/06, 10/07


Order of Operations is an exhibition conceived and produced by Ohme, in co-production with Bozar.

Original concept

Camilla Colombo

Scientific Direction
Raoul Sommeillier

Exhibition texts

Camilla Colombo, Raoul Sommeillier

Mélanie Bertelson, François Bronchart, Michel Cahen, Amandine David, Julie De Saedeleer, Samuel Fiorini, Simone Gutt, Ken Hasselmann, William Hautekiet, LAb[au], Philippe Leblanc, Luc Lemaire, Thierry Libert, Jean Rosenfeld, Paolo Saracco, RYBN, Guillaume Schweicher, Michel Tombroff, Frederik Vanhoutte, Valery Vermeulen

Studio Marie Douel

Art Handling
Jean-Pierre Bertrand, Alexandre Lavet

Colin Fincoeur, Youssef Meftah

Exhibition construction and paintwork
Wabu Production

Eléna Antoine, Justine Detienne, Lotte De Beer, Frisia Donders, Nicolas Klimis, Alexia Mangelinckx

Frisia Donders, Annick Duez, Emma Dumartheray, Nicolas Klimis, Gwenaël Sauvage

Georgina Becker, Camilla Colombo, Chloé Gautier

ISO Translation & Publishing, Frans Robert, Katelijne De Vuyst

Graphic design and printing

Graphic identity
Frederik Vanhoutte


Web design
Martin Haesebaert (FarWeb), Raoul Sommeillier

With the collaboration of the departments of the Université libre de Bruxelles

Département de Mathématique, Control Engineering and System Analysis (SAAS), Computer and Decision Engineering (CoDE – IRIDIA & SMG), Bio- Electro- And Mechanical Systems (BEAMS), FabLab ULB, MobiDaLab (SAAS)


Faculté des Sciences (ULB), École polytechnique de Bruxelles (ULB), Inforsciences (ULB), Science Outreach Office (VUB), Pilar – Huis voor Kunst en Wetenschap, Department of Mathematics and Data Science (WIDS – VUB)

With the support of

Innoviris, Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles, Commission communautaire française, Région de Bruxelles-Capitale | Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, la Loterie Nationale et ses joueurs | de Nationale Loterij en haar spelers | the National Lottery and its players, Université libre de Bruxelles

Production partners