Radical Fiber: A Symposium on Art and Science

A knitted doll of a man on velvet in a gold frame.
Dario Robleto, The Creative Potential of Disease, 2004, a self-portrait doll made by a Civil War union soldier amputee while recov¬ering in the hospital, mended and repaired with a modern day surgeon’s surgical needle and thread, new pant leg material made from a modern day soldier’s uniform, cast leg made from femur bone dust and prosthetic alginate treated with Balm Of A Thousand Foreign Fields, vegetable ivory, collagen, melted shrapnel and bullet lead, cold cast steel and zinc, polyester resin, rust, 12 x 9 ¾ x 1 inches, collection of Barry Sloane and Michael Duncan

Join us Friday, January 28–Saturday, January 29, 2022, for Radical Fiber: A Symposium on Art and Science to explore the intersections of textiles with sustainability, digital technology, mathematics, and more. The symposium is being held in conjunction with the exhibition Radical Fiber: Threads Connecting Art and Science, which opens January 29, 2022, and explores the ways in which fiber-based practice has and continues to influence scientific theory, pedagogy, and innovation.

The symposium, originally scheduled to be in person, will now be online. Please register for each session below to receive the Zoom link. Visitors are welcome to see the exhibition in person during regular museum hours.

Schedule for Friday, January 28

All times are Eastern Standard Time


11 am–12 pm: Curator’s tour of the Saratoga Springs Satellite Reef
Register via Zoom.
Part of the worldwide Crochet Coral Reef project by Christine and Margaret Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring.

1–1:15 pm: Welcome
Register via Zoom.

  • Ian Berry, Tang Dayton Director

  • Rebecca McNamara, Tang Associate Curator

1:15-2:30 pm: “Threads Throughout History”
See Welcome for Zoom registration link.

  • Elissa Auther, Craft Curator and Scholar

  • Dario Robleto, Artist

2:45–4 pm: “Making Visible: Math, Craft, Culture”
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  • John Sims, MathArtist, Writer, and Curator

  • Jeffrey Splistoser, Anthropologist

  • Daina Taimina, Mathematician and Artist

  • Moderated by Stephen Ornes, Science Writer

4–4:30 pm: Day 1 Discussion
Register via Zoom.
A Zoom conversation open to all attendees to meet and talk about the first day of the symposium. Moderated by Associate Curator Rebecca McNamara.

See the schedule for Saturday, January 29.

About the Symposium

Together, the symposium and exhibition embrace the values of cross-disciplinary collaboration and engagement and especially highlight the value of artists to offer solutions to our most challenging questions today. We will think creatively about the future of textiles—their role in our lives historically and how moments of scientific progress in textiles can inspire future innovation, their technological possibilities for social good, the need for a more sustainable and climate-friendly textile industry, and more.

i
Pattern by Jonnea Herman ’18
Inspired by the annual February Tang <3 Students Event
The Tang Pattern Project celebrates the Museum’s 20th anniversary. Organized by Head of Design Jean Tschanz-Egger, past and current Tang Design Interns created patterns inspired by the Museum’s exhibition and event history.