To begin with, the Institute for Figuring is a small exhibition space located in the Chinatown district of Los Angeles. As I stepped in, the attendant, Anna, greeted me and explained what the IFF was about. She then let me explore around. As I looked around, the walls were full of text. Michael Evans work stood out to me because it reminded me how we were working with Platonic Solids in class. He discovered what he believes is a new Platonic Solid, Trion-Re, with only three faces, each face and edge curved. (Of the classic Platonic Solids, the smallest is the tetrahedron, with four regular triangular faces). He then recognized that a Trion-Re made of clear Perspex focuses light as its tips and it’s the key to how light propagates through space.
Walking towards the back room, I began to reflect on Margaret Wertheim’s TED talk, she explained how many mathematicians had thought you couldn’t have Physical models of this structure but crochet showed you could. Margaret and Christine Wertheim worked on a project in which they crocheted a coral reef from the seeds of their Highland Park living room. One of them was the coral reef that was beaded by Sue Von Ohlson. If you look at it closely you can see the all the beads carefully detailed. The orange coral by Christine Wertheim is made from plastic trash bags. When I first looked at it I couldn’t tell it was all made from plastic bags because of how nicely it was done. Sarah Simons, a writer, created this piece of art by using beaded kelps and anemones. Overall, I was amazed by a variety of different perfectly balanced man made coral reefs that had a significant representation.
Lastly, in the black paper Model room, there was a desk with books and activities where you could add to the hyperbolic space. All these crochet hyperbolic creatures combines math, biology, art and play. It’s a powerful image that describes the generation of life and matter in the universe. I believe it’s a very difficult concept to understand but it’s an interesting case study by showing how one can represent mathematics materially and physically.
I was amazed to see how crocheting could be turned into a piece of art. Not just any kind of art but full of meaning and very essential. These artists mix the creative arts with the sciences, displaying many significations within society. It was nice to learn about the importance of hyperbolic geometries of corral reefs in respect to their economic importance and sheer beauty. With this information, I though of creating something that incorporates a strong meaning within the universe and myself.
These are some ideas of what I would like to do with my final project.