Friday, April 11, 2008

Hyperbolic crochet

I cannot believe this actually exists, I am absolutely delighted by both the phrase and the thing itself!

Imagine--a pair of Australian twins named Margaret and Christine Wertheim fall in love with non-Euclidean geometry and set out to crochet realistically rendered segments of the Great Barrier Reef to draw attention to the impending destruction of one of the natural world's great wonders...

(Photo by Alyssa Gorelick from the IFF website)

It is quite a web of a project itself: a good place to start is the Institute for Figuring website. I especially like the "Hyperbolic Crochet Basics" section, and here are some press links--the whole thing is basically a demented and wildly intellectual craft project with a strong activist component, a very interesting and up-to-the-moment combination. Here is an intriguing interview from Cabinet Magazine. And parts of the Chicago exhibit are on display this month in New York--here's the New York Times story from March, which obviously I missed at the time (hmmm, it makes sense to me that Christine Wertheim teaches at Cal Arts--I was just thinking of how much my friend Helen Hill, who studied there, would have liked this project!).

Thanks to Doc Jim for the tip. Also, this post is in honor of my friend Wendy, a passionate photographer of flora and fauna (endangered and otherwise) who is now in Perth getting ready to swim in the World Masters Championships!


  1. I went to the opening of the exhibit in the Winter Garden and was, by chance, able to stop by the other smaller exhibit at NYU earlier that day.

    Besides the wonderfulness of the crochet x science x woolliness, it was great to hang out with the people who made the thing. Everyone standing at the display and pointing out their own creations and then and his or her friends'. Infectious.