There's hyperbole and there's hyperbolic — the former is a term of language meaning deliberate exaggeration in service of urgent communication; the latter describes a form of geometry (think eighth-grade's sines and cosines) that is curvaceous and organic, and defines an opposition to Euclidian, literally straight-and-narrow, math. Now through the end of August, Pasadena Art Center hosts an exhibition that takes both into account, presenting the Wertheim Sisters' monumental Technicolor installation of radical crochet representing both the physical structure and threatened survival of the world's great coral reefs. It turns out that the process of crocheting is the best way to model how reefs physically build themselves, so with the help of dozens of crocheting circles from all over the world, the sisters undertook the exaggerated act of crocheting a reef, alternately replete with the dazzling colors and magical shapes of healthy examples, and polluted with rogue plastic detritus to highlight their decline. As it tours the world, Hyperbolic: Reefs, Rubbish and Reason is constantly augmented with new and increasingly expressive and politically pointed parts, as this most domestic of hobbies tackles this most urgent environmental crisis. Today's public reception for this absorbing and unforgettable artwork features the president of the Aquarium of the Pacific, Dr. Jerry Schubel, and Australian-born twin sisters Margaret and Christine Wertheim, founders of L.A.-based interdisciplinary art collective the Institute for Figuring, discussing the intersection of “geometry, biology, participatory art practice and ecological consciousness.”

Wed., June 22, 7 p.m.; Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: June 22. Continues through Aug. 21, 2011

LA Weekly