Value and Transformation of Corals - The Book

Publication – German + English editions
English edition – September 2022
Book cover: “Value and Transformation of Corals”

In 2022, Museum Frieder Burda in Germany presents Margaret and Christine Wertheim: Wert und Wandel der Korallen (Value and Transformation of Corals), a museum-wide retrospective of the Crochet Coral Reef that turns the entire building into an immersive wooly experience. With a towering Coral Forest made from yarns, plastic and videotape; a wall-size “painting and frieze each comprising 5000 coral pieces – think abstract expressionism meets female craft; and a vast-in-scale community reef made from 40,000 corals by 4000+ contributors, Wert und Wandel der Korallen represents an important addition to the genre of collaborative fiber art in the tradition of the Gees Bends quilts.

Accompanying the exhibition is a 240pg full-color book published in German and English editions with commissioned essays about the scientific, social, environmental, mathematical, feminist, and community dimensions of the project. Essays by Christine Wertheim, Margaret Wertheim, Donna Haraway, Kayleigh C. Perkov, Doug Harvey, Heather Davis, Amita Deshpande, Cord Reichelmann, Judith Irrgang, and Forward by exhibition curator Udo Kittelman. Plus commissioned photos by Rebecca Rickman and Nickolay Kazakov.

Editors: Udo Kittelman for the Frieder Burda Foundation, and Christine Wertheim and Margaret Wertheim. Book designed by Margarethe Hausstatter. Published by Weinand Verlag.

ISBN 978-3-86832-688-8 (English edition)

ISBN 978-3-86832-676-5 (German edition)

German books on sale now at Museum Frieder Burda. English edition coming soon.

Crochet jellyfish made of plastic bags

Back cover blurb:  “The crochet coral reef is sym-chthonic. It is for and with the multispecies critters, including human people, of the deep and ongoing earth. The crochet coral reef is palpable, polymorphous, terrifying, and inspiring stitchery done with every sort of fiber and strand, looped by tens of thousands of people in dozens of nations, who come together to stitch care, beauty, and response-ability in play tanks. This SF worlding is enabled by Margaret and Christine Wertheim’s outrageous, chthonic symbiosis of science, mathematics, art, activism, women’s fiber arts, environmentalism, fabulation, and sheer love of the critters of terra.” – Donna Haraway


Plastic bag jellyfish by Christine and Margaret Wertheim. Photo © Institute For Figuring by Rebecca Rickman