Peoples Geography — Reclaiming space

Creating people's geographies

On crochet, coral and hyperbolic geometry

I love the interweaving of complex mathematical models of space with ‘feminine domestic handicraft’ here, as well as the idea of a playtank and bringing mathematics into the minds and hands of the masses … (thanks Dave)

Margaret Wertheim leads a project to re-create the creatures of the coral reefs using a crochet technique invented by a mathematician — celebrating the amazements of the reef, and deep-diving into the hyperbolic geometry underlying coral creation. R/t 15 minutes

8 comments on “On crochet, coral and hyperbolic geometry

  1. Dave Bath
    6 February, 2010

    "Crocheting the Lorenz manifold" is a paper, with heavy maths at the start, that gives actual instructions.

    Mandelbulbs (see here and here) look doable as well, at least in part.

    BTW, when my daughter was about 4, I rendered bits of Julia and Mandelbrot sets and had them transferred to T-shirts for the both of us. Still got mine. Hers was part of a Mandelbrot known as Seahorse Valley, wrapped around a sphere to look like a paisley planet with pastel blues as the color scheme. She loved her T-shirt because it was so pretty… but couldn’t understand that it was uber-geek-chic.

    I can recommend xaos and aphophysis if you want to find your own pretty pictures… aphophysis better for generating "artistic" renderings, but Xaos much easier to use.

  2. Ann
    6 February, 2010

    Dave, Thanks very much! Uber-geek-chic — great word. Appreciate the links and very cool about your t-shirts. The 3D mandelbulb fractals look quite freaky and cool. I’ll also try out the real-time interactive fractal zoomer and fractal flame shortly, it might even perform a hypnotic, cure-for-insomnia effect before bedtime!

    I’m sure you picked up on the Aussie accent btw — I was pleasantly surprised as I had no idea she was born in Brissy.

  3. Dave Bath
    6 February, 2010

    (1) Dang! Meant to type “apophysis” rather than “aphophysis”

    (2) Note that if you use apophysis, gimp (a free photoshop alternative) can co-operate.

    (3) If you have any pretty results you are very proud of, can you make them available.

    (4) If you make any transfers to clothes, put them up or send me a photo? If you are organized enough, it might be a cute way of raising a few bucks for your causes via “car boot” markets or uni market days (if they still have them). Nobody can claim you are stealing a copyright design!

  4. 99
    6 February, 2010

    I’m torn. Do I gripe or do I cheer?

    WHUT are all those people doing spending ALL that time and energy, all that WORK, on crocheting coral reefs? Will it faze so much as one CEO? I rather think not.

    But a thousand blessings upon her for pointing directly at the stupefyingly-constricting constricts of the vaunted formalism. Somebody might actually have HEARD that!

    There. I did both!

  5. Ann
    6 February, 2010

    Sure, I think it needs both approaches too, science and art, yin and yang. And since there are people dealing with both, I say let’s cheer her efforts. What is that saying about the problems of our time not being solvable by the mindset that created them? Also, as you know art has a way of reaching in from beneath the threshold of consciousness to make people more aware about such things as coral reefs who might not otherwise know.

  6. Ann
    7 February, 2010

    Great idea, Dave, shall do and show you the pics. Ta for the links.

  7. julie
    9 February, 2010

    hey – have you seen Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes
    http://books.google.com/books?id=wUkXPVUELB4C&pg=PA150&dq=Taimina&cd=6#v=onepage&q=Taimina&f=false
    just put in longlist for oddest book title but the book is very real and cool!

  8. Ann
    9 February, 2010

    Many thanks Julie, I hadn’t. Looks great.

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This entry was posted on 6 February, 2010 by in Mathematics, Science, Space, Video and tagged .

Timely Reminders

"Those who crusade, not for God in themselves, but against the devil in others, never succeed in making the world better, but leave it either as it was, or sometimes perceptibly worse than what it was, before the crusade began. By thinking primarily of evil we tend, however excellent our intentions, to create occasions for evil to manifest itself."
-- Aldous Huxley

"The only war that matters is the war against the imagination. All others are subsumed by it."
-- Diane DiPrima, "Rant", from Pieces of a Song.

"It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
for lack
of what is found there"
-- William Carlos Williams, "Asphodel, That Greeny Flower"


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