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Margaret Wertheim

Margaret Wertheim is a science writer and artist. She is the author of The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet, and 6 other books. She and her sister Christine Wertheim are co-creators of the Crochet Coral Reef, the world’s largest art+science project, shown at the 58th Venice Biennale, Helsinki Biennial, and many other venues. The sisters’ generative practice has engaged over 20,000 citizen-participants in making a globe-spanning archipelago of woolly coral reefs in 50 cities and countries, including Chicago, New York, London, Melbourne, Germany, Finland, Latvia, and the UAE. Her personal site is:

WE ARE ALL CORALS NOW: A Crafty Yarn About Global Warming

Stretching along the coast of Queensland, Australia, in a riotous profusion of color and form, the Great Barrier Reef is the first living thing that can be seen from outer space.


In 2021 when Mark Zuckerberg launched his multibillion-dollar initiative to develop “the metaverse,” a term and concept gleaned from Neal Stephenson’s kinetic cyberpunk classic Snow Crash, the venture capitalist Matthew Ball explained the idea as “the successor state to the mobile internet.”

Figuring Forms

“To figure: to form or shape, to trace, to reckon or calculate, to represent in a diagram or picture, to ornament or adorn with a design or pattern.” Thus the Oxford English Dictionary defines the act of figuring, a word equally resonant in mathematics, science and art.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2023

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