# Calculations

This is the first piece in the series and is a multiplication of two numbers performed only with writing instruments and paper. To test myself and the process, I chose extremely large numbers, almost 16 inches long when written by hand, which guaranteed the calculation would be lengthy and demanding. I used the box multiplication method, taught to me in elementary school, which can be applied to any pair of numbers; the only limit was the size of the paper. The process involved intermediate steps, shorter multiplications, that are written below the two initial numbers and shifted one place to the left each step. Adding these steps up, their sum is written at the bottom and is the final answer. Using only pencil, pens, and extra paper, the process took approximately one year to complete. The piece was a meditative exercise, and also, by denying myself the use of a calculator or computer, an act of faith. I had to believe not only that the method worked for a calculation of that size, but that my answer was correct, having made no errors along the way.