Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Institute For Figuring has begun a project to crochet a coral reef, a wooly celebration of the intersection of higher geometry and feminine handicraft, and a testimony to the disappearing wonders of the marine world. Using the techniques of hyperbolic crochet discovered by Dr Daina Taimina, the Institute has been evolving a wide taxonomy of forms - loopy "kelps", fringed "anemones", and curlicued "corals." The reef is made up of four sub-reefs, each with its own distinct styling and colors, currently dubbed the Green, Orange, Blue-Black, and Ugly sections, as markers of their dominant hues. Like its biological counterparts, the crochet reef grows slowly: each piece is hand-made and individually thought out. Though the process is algorithmic, endless permutations of the iterative formulae result in a constantly surprising panoply of shapes. The quality of yarn, style of stitch and tightness of the crochet all affect the finished model so that each is as individual as a living organism. We invite crocheters everywhere to contribute their own inspirations. This is a collective project and all contributions will be fully acknowledged.

The Institute For Figuring is an educational organization dedicated to enhancing the public understanding of figures and figuring techniques. From the physics of snowflakes and the hyperbolic geometry of sea slugs, to the mathematics of paper folding and graphical models of the human mind, the Institute takes as its purview a complex ecology of figuring.

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