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Miller Endowment Visitor 2020-21

Margaret Wertheim

George A. Miller Visiting Artist

Margaret Wertheim is a writer, artist and curator whose work brings together art, math and science as evidenced in her Crochet Coral Reef, a worldwide project created through hyperbolic crochet. In this lecture Margaret will introduce the UIUC community to her work with the Institute for Figuring, a collaborative Los Angeles based practice she runs with her twin sister Christine Wertheim. Highlighting the “aesthetic and poetic dimensions of science and mathematics,” the sisters design art & science exhibits for galleries and museums around the world. Their Crochet Coral Reef is a global participatory endeavor that sits at the intersection of craft, geometry, community-art and environmentalism. The work has been seen by more than two million people and exhibited at the 2019 Venice Biennale, the Smithsonian, and many other places. Margaret will discuss the interplay of art, science, and art as social practice within the Crochet Reef project, while also promoting UIUC’s very own locally made Urbana-Champaign Satellite Reef, opening at the Siebel Center for Design in spring 2021.

Margaret Wertheim’s work focuses on relations between science and the wider cultural landscape. A two-fold perspective animates her thinking: on the one hand science can be seen as a set of conceptual enchantments that delight our minds and senses; on the other hand science is a socially embedded activity intersecting with philosophy, culture and politics. Wertheim aims to illuminate both dimensions of science and mathematics through her books, articles, lectures, workshops, and art, which has been widely exhibited nationally and internationally.

The Crochet Coral Reef website.