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Announcement
February 1, 2017

Crochet Coral Reef: CO2CA-CO2LA Ocean

Institute of the Arts and Sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz
Institute for Figuring, Crochet Coral Reef, 2005–ongoing. © Jenna Bascom. Courtesy of the Museum of Arts and Design.

Opening events
Friday, February 10
4–5pm: Artist talk with Christine Wertheim, Digital Arts Research Center ​
5–7pm: Reception, Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery

Saturday, February 11
2–4pm: Artist meet and greet, Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery

The Crochet Coral Reef project, by Margaret and Christine Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring, responds to the environmental crisis of global warming and the escalating problem of oceanic plastic trash. Residing at the intersection of mathematics, marine biology, handicraft, and community art practice, the Crochet Coral Reef highlights not only the damage humans do to the earth’s environment, but also our power for positive action. The project and exhibition is a spectacularly beautiful, artistically complex, and socially powerful way to bring people together around a devastating ecological challenge—the survival of the coral reefs and marine ecologies throughout the world.

The Crochet Coral Reef has been exhibited in art and science museums worldwide, including the Museum of Art and Design (New York), the Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh), the Hayward Gallery (London), the Science Gallery (Dublin), and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History (Washington, DC).

In addition to the exhibition Crochet Coral Reef: CO2CA-CO2LA Ocean at the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery, related programming includes the creation of the UC Santa Cruz Satellite Reef, crocheted by UCSC students alongside faculty, staff and Santa Cruz community members. This latest addition to an ever-evolving wooly archipelago of crochet reefs worldwide will be exhibited at the Seymour Marine Discovery Center beginning May 4, 2017.

Crochet Coral Reef: CO2CA-CO2LA Ocean and the UC Santa Cruz Satellite Reef are sponsored by the Institute of the Arts and Sciences in partnership with the Mary Porter Sesnon Art Gallery and the Seymour Marine Discovery Center. The Institute of the Arts and Sciences is part of UC Santa Cruz’s Arts Division. It is an interdisciplinary programming unit, which creates public exhibitions, public events, publications, and collaborations with faculty and students, aligning with UCSC’s teaching and research.

Sisters Margaret Wertheim (a science writer) and Christine Wertheim (a poet, writer and faculty member at the California Institute of the Arts) are co-founders of the Institute For Figuring, a Los Angeles non-profit devoted to the poetic and aesthetic dimensions of science and mathematics. The IFF is a “play tank” which develops artworks, exhibitions and programs that engage audiences in topics ranging from the physics of snowflakes to mathematical paper folding.

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