Physics at the Fringe at The Institute for Fashioning

The art exhibit Physics on the Fringe at the Institute for Figuring was inspired by the writer Margaret Wertheim whom explores the life and theory of outsider thinker James Carter in her most recent book entitled that of the exhibit.  James Carter was a man who was able to construct his who own theory of the universe from observing things around him.  His theory would be named Circlon Synchronicity “… which is a conceptual model of mass, space, time and gravity that is based on complimentary principles of measurement that describe the interactions of two fundamental mechanical particles of matter moving with thee dimensions of time.  Circlon Synchronicity is organized and explained within nine basic principles of physical measurements.” (  What makes this theory different from other theories such as “…Special Relativity, General Relativity and Quantum mechanics is that it is based on physical principles of measurement whereas the standard models are just theories based on unmeasurable metaphysical assumptions” (  Margaret and her sister Christine’s goal was to show the ‘poetic and aesthetic dimensions of science, mathematics and engineering.’ (LA Times) Other theorists featured were Michael Evans, Stoyan Sarg, P.G. Tait, and William Thomas a.k.a Lord Kelvin.  All of whom were able to perceive their own perception on how the Universe was manifested.

What gives this scientific adventure an artistic aesthetic is the manipulation of mathematical equations being materialized in order to create an organic object.  An excellent example of this is seen in the Project Room entitled Pod Worlds.  In this room you will find an array of different coral reefs made from all different types of materials.    Amongst these crochet sea creatures are corals, anemones, kelps, sponges and flatworms all creatures that are genetically constructed through hyperbolic geometry.   Hyperbolic Geometry is best materialized through crocheting, discovered by Dr. Diana Taimina at Cornell University in 1997. The Crochet Coral Reef Project was founded in 2005 by the Wertheim sisters in order to raise awareness about global warming and its impact on the coral reefs in The Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the world.  The rise in sea temperature forces the coral colonies to lose their symbiotic, food-producing algae, a process known as bleaching. (National Geographics) Margaret and Christine built off of Dr. Taimina’s coral crocheting techniques.  They made some adjustments to the pattern using a more freeform technique which gave the reef a more natural and organic look.  The bright vibrant colored yarns capture the beauty that it replicates of the all too quickly dying coral reef.

What I found so interesting is that such simple formulas could create such identical images of nature’s creations.  It also started making me think that if coral could be made by a mathematical formula through the technique of crocheting than it is only obvious that all other living matter is just another form of a mathematical equation of more complexity.  This made me think of Sacred Geometry.  Sacred Geometry is not a mathematical theory for constructing life but it is the geometry that can be found in almost all religious architecture and art from around the world.  It is also thought to have healing powers in music because of its harmonic ratios.  Sacred Geometry can also be found in a cutaway of a chambered nautilus, a bee honeycomb, or even in or galaxies.





So one has to wonder, what does all this really mean?  From what I see is that we are all are creators of our own manifestation.  Like the Wertheim sisters they took a perfect geometric equation manipulated it a little and created a replica of Gods perfect image of the glorious coral reef.  We are all perfect equations with minor differentiations creating uniquely ever-changing lives.  The more complexity in the equation the more complex shape of life it will become.  This would explain the complexity in the human DNA and it’s comparison to our totally unique characteristics, not only in our DNA but also in throughout our lives.  Overall I enjoyed the exhibit, it was a great way of combining science with art.



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