Click here to view all Upcoming Events


IFF Directors Talks

IFF Directors Talks 2012
IFF Directors Talks 2011
IFF Directors Talks 2010
IFF Directors Talks 2009


Previous IFF Lectures

Exhibition Opening and Fractal Unveiling
Doheny Library, University of Southern California
Thursday, September 20, 2012 @ 57pm

A Lecture by Ryan and Trevor Oakes
Sat. September 22, 2012 @ 68pm

Theoretical and Practical Explorations of Space

@ Hayward Gallery, London
June 12–14, 2012

IFF Director Margaret Wertheim speaks at Art Center College of Design
June 22, 2011 @ 7pm
With Dr. Jerry Schubel, President and CEO, Aquarium of the Pacific

Captain Charles Moore Talks About Plastic Trash
[IFF-L22] Saturday Jan 17, 2009

IFF Director Margaret Wertheim
Neuroscience Discussions at the LA Public Library

[IFF-L21] October 2 + November 10, 2008

Seeing Anew [IFF-L20]
A lecture by Trevor and Ryan Oakes
at Machine Project Sunday, June 24 @ 7pm

The Logic Alphabet of Shea Zelleweger[IFF-L19]
A discussion with the IFF and Dr. Shea Zelleweger
at Foshay Masonic Lodge Saturday, March 3 @ 5pm

Structural Considerations of the Business Card Sponge[IFF-L17]
By Dr. Jeannine Mosely
Sunday, September 10 @ 8pm

The Insect Trilogy
@ Telic Arts Exchange
How Flies Fly [IFF-L14]
By Dr Michael Dickinson
The Ecology of a Termite's Gut [IFF-L15]
By Dr Jared Leadbetter
What is it Like to be a Spider? [IFF-L16]
By Dr Simon Pollard

Where the Wild Things Are 2:
A Talk About Knot Theory
By Ken Millett
at The Drawing Center in NY.

Where the Wild Things Are 2
by Ken Millett
at the University of California, Santa Barbara

Things That Think:
A hands-on history of physical computation devices.

by Nick Gessler [IFF-L12]

Where the Wild Things Are:
A Talk about Knot Theory

by Ken Millett [IFF-L11]
at The Foshay Masonic Lodge (Culver City)

Crocheting the Hyperbolic Plane:
A conversation on non-euclidean geometry and feminine handicraft

by Dr. Daina Taimina and IFF Director Margaret Wertheim [IFF-L10]

Darwinism on a Desktop:
Sodaplay and the Evolution of a Digital World

by Ed Burton [IFF-L9]

The Logic Alphabet
by Christine Wertheim [IFF-L8]

Why Things Don't Fall Down
A Talk About Tensegrities
by Robert Connelly [IFF-L7]

The Art and Science of Child’s Play

By Norman Brosterman [IFF-L6]

Crocheting the Hyperbolic Plane [IFF-L5]
A Talk by David Henderson and Daina Taimina

The Mathematics of Paper Folding [IFF-L4]
by Robert Lang

The Physics of Snowflakes [IFF-L3]
by Kenneth Libbrecht

Crocheting the Hyperbolic Plane [IFF-L2]
by Daina Taimina and David Henderson

The Figure That Stands Behind Figures:
Mosaics Of The Mind
by Robert Kaplan


Previous Events

Crochet Hyperbolic Workshop
Proteus Gowanus gallery, Brooklyn, NY

Hyperbolic Crochet Workshop:
a celebration of feminine handicraft and higher geometry and a homage to the disappearing wonder of coral reefs.

at The Institute For Figuring – Special Collections

A workshop on crocheting the hyperbolic plane.
at the Velaslavasay Panorama in Los Angeles.


Captain Charles Moore talks about plastic trash

Plastic trash on Kamilo Beach Feb 8 2006 - photo by the Algalita Marine Research Foundation

In conjunction with the IFF's Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef exhibition at Track 16 Gallery, please join us this Saturday as we get serious about plastic trash.

While living reefs around the world are disappearing, a sinister substitute is building beneath the waves. In the north Pacific Ocean a huge gyre of plastic trash is amassing that is now twice the size of Texas and at least 30 meters deep. This "Great Pacific Garbage Patch" is the byproduct of 50 years of human engagement with plastic and an ever-increasing index of our dependency on this quintessentially modern industrial material. The IFF is delighted to present a rare opportunity to hear from the world expert on oceanic plastic trash, Captain Charles Moore, who led the Greenpeace vessel Esperanza on a mission to study the Garbage Patch. Captain Moore's research has revealed that in this area of ocean there are six pounds of plastic for every pound of living phytoplankton. In extended talk - accompanied by videos and actual samples of oceanic trash, including the green plastic "sand" that now periodically inundates Hawaiian beaches - Captain Moore will describe his research on the Garbage Patch and discuss the history of human involvement with plastic. The lecture will be preceded by a workshop on crocheting plastic bags. Both events are free and open to the public. No reservations are required.

Date: Saturday Jan 17, 2009.
Place: Track 16 Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave, Bldg C-1, Santa Monica, CA 90404

2-4pm: Workshop on Crocheting Plastic Bags
Reef wranglers in chief, Margaret and Christine Wertheim will lead a hands-on workshop in crocheting plastic bags. The Wertheims will discuss the plastic component of the Crochet Reef Project and their own midden of plastic trash that occupies one corner of the Track 16 exhibition.

4-6pm: Lecture and discussion with Captain Charles Moore, accompanied by large assortment of items from Moore's personal collection of oceanic trash, including samples of a new kind of rock that is formed when plastic garbage fuses with molten lava.

Captain Charles Moore is a third generation resident of Long Beach, California who grew up sailing with his father to remote destinations from Guadelupe to Island to Hawaii. In 1997 after a yacht race to Hawaii he veered from his usual sea route and discovered an ocean he had never known. Describing his first glimpse on the region he writes: "there were shampoo caps and soap bottles and plastic bags and fishing floats as far as I could see. Here I was in the middle of the ocean, and there was nowhere I could go to avoid the plastic." As a response to this environmental horror, Moore set up the Algalita Foundation which is committed to researching the phenomenon of oceanic trash and to raising public awareness about plastic waste in general. Captain Moore has now done ocean and coastal sampling for plastic fragments over 20,000 miles of the north Pacific Ocean, across 22 degrees of latitude and 50 degrees of longitude.

This exhibition is supported by grants from the Peter Norton Family Foundation, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through Los Angeles County Arts Commission, the Daniel and Joanna S. Rose Fund, and Bella Meyer.