Starting tomorrow, Saturday, October 16, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History there will be a temporary exhibit depicting a coral reef and related eco-system. The reef is constructed of crocheted coral made of yarn, found objects, and recycled materials. The reef is installed in the Sant Ocean Hall, on the first floor of the museum.

The [Hyperbolic] Crochet Coral Reef resides at the intersection of mathematics, marine biology, handicraft and community art practice, and also responds to the environmental crisis of global warming and the escalating problem of oceanic plastic trash.”

The Smithsonian community reef is a satellite project that’s part of a larger project created by the Institute for Advanced Figuring, “an organization dedicated to the poetic and aesthetic dimensions of science, mathematics and the technical arts.”

Here’s IFF Co-Founder Margaret Wertheim’s TED Talk, “Margaret Wertheim on the beautiful math of coral.”

Other satellite reefs have been constructed in other places and there are more on the horizon, the Institute’s website has more information on that schedule.

I was pleased to be able to to contribute a number of pieces of coral that I made, which are now part of the Smithsonian’s permanent collection.

I was able to some devote some time to the assemblage and curation process and I can tell you – with no bias at all – that the reef looks amazing!*

More information about the exhibit can be found here and there will be lots of family-oriented activities in the exhibit area tomorrow, starting at 11. The reef will be on display until April 24, 2011.

*Maybe a little bias, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true!