Cnidarians are dying. Corals everywhere are dying from global warming. Australian-born, California-based sister artists Margaret and Christine Wertheim are not resigning themselves to the loss without a fight, but are meeting it with a fabulous world created using traditional handmade techniques. From January to June 2022, the Museum Frieder Burda in Baden-Baden (Germany) displayed their crocheted reefs, in which the two artists revel in dazzling colors and shapes.
Modeled after the living reefs they aspire to, the sisters created a collaborative installation work that involved over 20,000 people in fifty cities and countries. Art, science, mathematics, and collaborative practice come to synthesis in a work that reflects the possibilities of handwork as well as the hidden history of using craft techniques for scientific representation.
For the audio guide to the exhibition, which was offered on on-site devices as well as a PWA for BOYD, we spoke with Christine Wertheim about her love of crochet, mathematical formulas, and, of course, coral. Other voices are also heard in the audio tour and show what an important contribution art can make to climate protection.