Gallery Talk: Sunday August 7, by mathematician
Daina Taimina Crochet Workshop: Sunday August 7, 4 pm Hyberbolic Exhibition Catalog: designed by Kimberly
Varella and Margaret Wertheim
models of the hyperbolic plane invented by mathematician Daina Taimina
The Instititute For Figuring collection.
the nineteenth century, mathematicians knew about only two kinds
of geometry: the Euclidean plane and the sphere. It was a deep shock
to their community to find that there existed a completely other
spatial structure, one whose existence was only discerned by overturning
a two-thousand-year-old prejudice about “parallel” lines.
The discovery of hyperbolic space in the 1820’s and 1830’s
marked a turning point in mathematics and initiated the formal study
of non-Euclidean geometry. Almost two centuries later, Daina Taimina
a mathematician at Cornell University made a physical model of the
hyperbolic plane – a feat many mathematicians had believed
was impossible – using crochet. With hook and yarn the properties
of this unique space become manifest to our eyes and hands, enabling
tactile exploration of a structure once thought impossible. This
exhibition presents a collection of crochet models demonstrating
the various mathematical qualities of hyperbolic space. The exhibition
catalog itself has been designed as a hyperbolic book. At a hands-on
workshop on the opening night visitors can construct their own catalogs.