TEDxNewYork is held at GreyNY, 200 Fifth Avenue. We meet every week (mostly) on Fridays now and (mostly) from 1-2pm. We are open to the public. If you want to attend, send a note to admin@tedxnewyork.com (that's Don McKinney & Chel O'Reilly) with your vitals. Our biggest limitation is space so give us plenty of notice and we'll do our best to accommodate. Hope to see you at one of our events soon.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Session 5: Understand- Margaret Wertheim

A little summary of her talk. Gotta get links up soon--

Margaret Wertheim and her twin sister are crocheting a coral reef, it is an intersection of marine biology, feminine handicraft, art, math....

99% of the work is done by women. They have put together thousands of hours of work to create installations of crocheted reef.

Their Institute for Figuring put the call out on their website. Suddenly she was getting calls from many galleries because they were all doing exhibits on ecological issues.

Hyperbolic geometry: crochet is very like coral. Dr. Daina Taimina in the late 1990’s

Before hyperbolic geometry we had these two choices: Euclidean space & Spherical space. Euclidean geometry is drawing on a flat plane (like paper). Spherical space is like the lines of longitude and latitude. So the possibility for parallel lines in the Euclidean model is just one, in Spherical it is none. So the next answer must be infinity. That’s hyperbolic. And that’s crochet. And coral. It took us forever to figure out but it’s been in oceans forever. “No mathematicians were looking at sea slugs. Or kale.”

The amazing thing they discovered in their creations that when they diverged from the perfect patterns they developed beautiful organic shapes, more real, more beautiful.

The importance of this the embodiment of abstract concepts. It’s kindergarten for grownups. We learn through play and physical contact.

"Not think tanks. Play tanks. Let’s physically play with our ideas."

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