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Between the Folds

A Film Documentary


Vanessa Gould


January 27, 2015
5:00 PM
Bailey Hall 207

Refreshments will be served in Bailey Hall 204 4:45pm


Origami may seem an unlikely medium for understanding and explaining the world. But around the globe, several fine artists and theoretical scientists are abandoning more conventional career paths to forge lives as modern-day paper folders. Through origami, these offbeat and provocative minds are reshaping ideas of creativity and revealing the relationship between art and science.

BETWEEN THE FOLDS chronicles 10 of their stories. Featuring interviews with and insights into the practice of these intrepid paper folders, the film opens with three of the world's foremost origami artists: a former sculptor in France who folds caricatures in paper rivaling the figures of Daumier and Picasso; a hyper-realist who walked away from a successful physics career to challenge the physics of a folded square instead; and an artisanal papermaker who folds impressionistic creations from the very same medium he makes from scratch.

The film then moves to less conventional artists, exploring concepts of minimalism, deconstruction, process and empiricism. Abstract artists emerge with a greater emphasis on concept, chopping at the fundamental roots of realism, which have long dominated traditional origami. The film also features advanced mathematicians and a remarkable scientist who received a MacArthur Genius Award for his computational origami research.

While debates ebb and flow on issues of folding technique, symbolism and purpose, this unique film shows how closely art and science are intertwined. The medium of paper folding—a simple blank, uncut square—emerges as a resounding metaphor for the creative potential for transformation in all of us.

"A gorgeous cinematic experience. I was so captivated by the documentary that halfway through I felt intense admiration for humanity, the same tingling I feel when listening to music so exquisite it's almost painful." — Karen A. Frenkel, Talking Science

"This film is much more than a loving look at the fascinating, brilliant characters who devote their lives to folding paper. It reveals origami itself as richer and more intricate than you could imagine... and by the end, you find yourself convinced that the mystery of folding could be one of the universe's deep secrets." — Chris Anderson, Curator, TED Conference

For additional information, send e-mail to math@union.edu or call (518) 388-6246.
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