I loved The Sydney Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef Project at the Powerhouse Museum. Surrounded by pins and yarn, two of the curators Michaela Davies and Charlotte Haywood were happy to discuss the process of the installation, commenting on the amazing amount of work that has gone into the project and the diverse materials that have been used as yarn. Wire, VHS tapes, rope and fibre optic cables have all been utilised, along with traditional wool.
The Sydney Reef is part of Margaret and Christine Wertheim's most recent project from the Institute For Figuring (IFF), the creation of a vast crocheted coral reef, based on the techniques of hyperbolic crochet discovered by mathematician Daina Taimina of Cornell University.
The crochet reef project is an interdisciplinary marriage of non-euclidean geometry, marine ecology, environmental activism, feminine handicraft and collective feminist practice. Just as living reefs propagate by sending out spawn, so too the crochet reef reproduces through an almost organic process - inspired by the efforts of the IFF, citizens of Chicago and New York have created their own Sister City Reefs, another of which is currently under construction in London.
In spring 2007, the first sub-reefs of the IFF's overall Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef were exhibited at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburg as part of the exhibition Six Billion Perps Held Hostage: Artists Reflect on Global Warming. In Fall 2007, the full Crochet Reef was exhibited at the Chicago Cultural Center, in association with the Chicago Humanities Festival, and in Spring 2008 it was the subject of two exhibitions in New York, one in the Broadway Windows at NYU, the other at the Winter Garden at the World Financial Center. During Summer 2008 the Reef will be shown at the Hayward Gallery in London.
See and download the full gallery on posterous