EXPLODE EVERY DAY: An Inquiry into the Phenomenon of Wonder
@ MASS MoCA, North Adams, MA
May 28, 2016 – February 28, 2017

Crochet Coral Reef
@ the University of California, Santa Cruz
February 10 – May 6, 2017


Crochet Coral Reef
@ Museum of Arts and Design, New York
September 15, 2016 – January 22, 2017

Night Begins the Day
@ the Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco
June 18 – Sept 20, 2015

Crochet Coral Reef
@ Southwest School of Art, San Antonio, TX
February 12 – April 26, 2015

Crochet Coral Reef
@ New York University Abu Dhabi Institute, UAE
September 28 – December 5, 2014

making space
@ Google Venice Offices, Los Angeles
October 2013 – February 2014

Science + Art Residency:  Being Formed
@ Institute For Figuring, Los Angeles
July – December, 2013

An Alternative Guide to the Universe
@ Hayward Gallery, London
June 11 – August 26, 2013

Out of Fashion
@ GL Holtegaard Museum, Copenhagen
April 2013 – Jan 2014

making space
@ Institute For Figuring, Los Angeles
December 15, 2012 – June 29, 2013

Physics on the Fringe
@ Institute For Figuring, Los Angeles
April 14 – November 10, 2012

Mosely Snowflake Sponge Exhibition
@ The USC Libraries
September 20, 2012 – January 30, 2013

Midden Project
@ The New Children's Museum, San Diego, CA
October 15, 2011 –September 15, 2013

The Logic Alphabet of Shea Zellweger
@ The Museum of Jurassic Technology
Opening reception March 3, 2007 – March 3, 2012

@ The Walker Art Center
April 24 – September 29, 2009

Inventing Kindergarten
@ Art Center College of Design, Alyce de Roulet Williamson Gallery
October 13, 2006 – January 7, 2007

Hyperbolic Cactus Garden + Hyperbolic Kelp Garden
@ Fair Exhange, during the LA County Fair, Pomona Fairgrounds
September 8 – October 1, 2006

The Business Card Menger Sponge
@ Machine Project, Los Angeles
Los Angeles – August 26 – September 24, 2006

Crocheting the Hyperbolic Plane
@ Machine Project, Los Angeles
Los Angeles – July 2005

Philosophical Toys
@ Apex Art, New York
June/July 2005

Lithium Legs and Apocalyptic Photons
@ The Santa Monica Museum of Art
April 20 – June 9, 2002


Crochet Coral Reef Exhibitions

Hyperbolic: Reefs, Rubbish, and Reason
@ The Williamson Gallery, Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, CA
June 6 – August 21, 2011

Crochet Reef
@ The Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History, Washington, DC
October 16, 2010 – April 24, 2011

Crochet Reef
@ The Science Gallery, Dublin
March 20, 2010 – June 11, 2010

The IFF "Bleached Reef"
@ The National Design Triennial at the Cooper-Hewitt, NYC
May 14, 2010 – January 9, 2011

Crochet Cactus Garden
Jackson Hole, WY
June 26 – September 28, 2009

Crochet Reef
Scottsdale, AZ
April 11 – July 11, 2009

Crochet Reef Show
@ Track 16 in Los Angeles
Jan 10 – Feb 28, 2009

New York and Chicago Reefs
Staten Island
Sept 27 – Dec 20, 2008

UK Reef Tour
Autumn 2008

Plastic Exploding Inevitable Reef
San Francisco
Sept 7 – Oct 3, 2008

Crochet Reef Symposium
@ Southbank Center
Friday June 13, 2008

Crochet Reef
June 11 – August 17, 2008

Crochet Reef
New York
April 6 – May 18, 2008

The Crochet Cactus Garden
@ The Wignall Museum, Chaffey College
January 29 – March 1, 2008

The Crochet Cactus Garden
@ The David Weinberg Gallery
October 26 – December 29, 2007

The Crochet Coral Reef
@ The Chicago Cultural Center
October 13 – December 16, 2007

The Crochet Coral Reef
@ The Andy Warhol Museum
March 11 – June 17, 2007

The Hyperbolic Crochet Cactus Garden

Exhibition Dates: January 29 - March 1, 2008

Wignall Museum - Chaffey College
5885 Haven Avenue Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91737

"Indefiniteness in form, size and number is the character of the plant, although a law lies at the basis of all this." Lorenz Oken, 1824.

IFF Hyperbolic Crochet Cactus Garden at the Wignall Gallery (2008). Photos by Jan Voltz.

In Jan-Feb 2008 the Wignall Museum at Chaffey College presents the exhibition Inlandia, a group show that explores the unique cultural landscape of the LA-area hinterland, the Inland Empire. The Institute For Figuring is proud to be part of this exhibition where our Crochet Cactus Garden will be on display. Works in the Inlandia show have been selected because of their relevance to the social, political and environmental conditions of the Inland Empire, Southern California's fastest growing region. The Crochet Cactus Garden is itself a group work, curated by IFF Directors Margaret and Christine Wertheim, incorporating pieces by 10 collaborators from around the world. The Garden was inspired by the desert landscapes of California. Inlandia is curated for the Wignall Museum by Rebecca Trawick.

IFF Hyperbolic Crochet Cactus Garden at the Wignall Gallery (2008). Detail of works by Marianne Midelburg (at back) and Anitra Menning (front.)

The impetus for this project was to evoke in wool the delicate wonder of living cactii. The forms on show here were inspired by real desert ecologies, and by the techniques of hyperbolic crochet developed by mathematician Dr Daina Taimina at Cornell University. Like living cactii, crochet cactii are found in a dazzling variety of "species." Although the processes that produce these pieces are algorithmic, every individual crafter who comes to the project brings to bear on the age-old forms of nature their own asthetic powers.

In Rialto, CA, Shari Porter has been constructing pebble-like forms. In Cedar Hill, Texas, Evelyn Hardin has discovered the delights of felting, using variegated soy yarns; in Bendigo, Australia, Marianne Midelburg has combed thrift stores, turning discarded wools into undulating piles; in Culver City, Sarah Simons, has concocted an entire taxonomy of cactus flowers by mixing together mercerized cottons in subtly complimentary hues. In Los Angeles, Anitra Menning reigns as the queen of vegetable architectonics, crafting swooping marvels at once fuzzy and firm, while David Orozco (proprietor of That Yarn Store in Echo Park) specializes in flanges of green and grey, a predisposition shared by Spring Pace in the wilderness of Topanga Canyon. In Bonnie Doon in rural Australia, Helen Bernasconi spins and dyes her own wool before designing mathematically precise clusters. It all comes together in Highland Park, where Margaret and Christine Wertheim curate, assemble and crochet to round out the whole.

IFF Hyperbolic Crochet Cactus Garden at the Wignall Gallery (2008). Detail of works by Marianne Midelburg, Anitra Menning, Helen Bernasconi and Evelyn Hardin.

IFF Crochet Cactus Garden Crafters:

Christine Wertheim (Los Angeles, CA)

Margaret Wertheim (Los Angeles, CA)

Sarah Simons (Culver City, CA)

Evelyn Hardin (Cedar Hill, TX)

Marianne Midelburg (Bengido, Australia)

Helen Bernasconi (Bonnie Doon, Australia)

Anitra Menning (Los Angeles, CA)

Spring Pace (Topanga Canyon, CA)

David Orozco (Echo Park, CA)

Shari Porter (Rialto, CA)

The Crochet Cactus Project has been assisted by a grant from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

IFF Hyperbolic Crochet Cactus Garden at the Wignall Gallery (2008). Detail of felted works by Evelyn Hardin.
IFF Hyperbolic Crochet Cactus Garden at the Wignall Gallery (2008). Detail of felted works by Evelyn Hardin.