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



EXPLODE EVERY DAY: An Inquiry into the Phenomenon of Wonder

Exhibition dates: May 28, 2016 – February 28, 2017

Opening May 28, 2016, MASS MoCA's exhibition Explode Every Day: An Inquiry into the Phenomenon of Wonder includes a series of new business card origami sculptures by Margaret Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring. 

These works, inspired by the pioneering techniques of Dr. Jeannine Mosely, have emerged from an open ended experimental process that takes its cues simultaneously from the formalisms of mathematics and the open-ended dynamics of nature. On show will be a 3-dimensional sculpture, Fractal Ruin, constructed from 8000 psychedelic business cards whose backbone architecture is derived from the structure of the Mosely Snowflake Sponge fractal; plus two 2-dimensional works, including Origami Wall Frieze (diagramed above) that uses business card origami as a new method for "drawing" on a wall. This site-specific low-relief sculpture evokes circuit board design, set theory, early video-game graphics, needlepoint, and seventies fem-power aesthetics. In addition will be a diagrammatic rendition of the interior geometry of a level two Snowflake Sponge revealing the form's unique fractal symmetries, from which the above works have been "wildified."
See more about construction of these works.


About the exhibition:

Harnessing the idea of wonder as a thematic metaphor, MASS MoCA's exhibition "Explode Every Day" features both existing and new works by twenty-three international artists, each touching on certain facets of wonder, including: the perceptual/ visionary, the technological/scientific, the philosophical/meditative, time/cosmos, and illusion/fear.

As curator Denise Markonish remarks, "a true state of wonder agitates, mesmerizes, and is almost forcible and shocking. It is a sudden intake of breath, a gaping mouth a relinquishing understanding. As commonly used, 'wonder' is sometimes mistaken for curiosity, which centers on fact-finding and explanation. In "Explode Every Day," viewers experience a purer state of wonder, a state poised between knowing and not knowing and defined by an experience of something truly new."

Co-organized by Markonish and artist Sean Foley, the exhibition title "Explode Every Day" was inspired by writer Ray Bradbury's elegant remark: "You remain invested in your inner child by exploding every day. You don’t worry about the future, you don’t worry about the past—you just explode."

Participating artists:

Jonathan Allen, Jen Bervin, Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, Jason de Haan, Tristan Duke, Sharon Ellis, Tom Friedman, Christopher Gausby, Hope Ginsburg, Laurent Grasso, Institute For Figuring and Margaret Wertheim, Nina Katchadourian, Michael Light, Charles Lindsay, Megan and Murray McMillan, Ryan and Trevor Oakes, Demetrius Oliver, Dario Robleto, Rachel Sussman, Julianne Swartz, Chris Taylor, Fred Tomaselli.

The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive catalog that includes essays from renowned wonder-author Lawrence Weschler, clinical psychologist Kay Redfield Jamison, art historian Barbara Maria Stafford, Jill Tarter (former director of the Center for SETI Research), and others; edited by Denise Markonish and co-published by Prestel.

Exhibition webpage

1040 MASS MoCA Way
North Adams, MA 01247

Christina Simons working on "Fractal Ruin" business card origami sculpture, at the Institute For Figuring, 2016.

IFF works in this exhibition have been constructed by Margaret Wertheim, Christina Simons and Jake Dotson, with design assistance from Christine Wertheim. Business card design by Cindy Kusuda.

The IFF's work for "Explode Every Day" is generously supported by grants from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Opaline Fund of the Jewish Community Federation and Endowment Fund.