an open source architectural beadwork project from Kate McKinnon and a worldwide team of innovators

CGB Talk at UCLA this Monday, tune in here

Greetings! I’m happy to say that we expect to be back together as a team soon, as we are all now getting vaccinated and should be able to travel, etc. by June. It will be so much fun to print and ship our new books together, to bead together again as a team, and share the discoveries and questions we have stored up over this long year apart. It will be a great joy to laugh together again.

If you would like to catch up on the project from my point of view, I will be giving an hour and a half talk for UCLA Monday, April 5, at 12:00 noon Eastern time. The lecture comes at the invitation of Victoria Vesna and Jim Gimzewski as a part of their Art|Sci Center’s DESMA 9 Art, Science and Technology Lecture Series. Click this link on Monday to listen live.

Photo by Hans Va, The Netherlands. The promo image that they chose for the talk is one of the beautiful wearable eggbox pieces created by Dutch artist Floor Kaspers. On Monday, I’ll be showcasing many extraordinary pieces like this created by the CGB team and our colleagues.

If you aren’t familiar with the UCLA Art|Sci programs and Jim and Victoria’s incredible work, you can catch up on them here. Their summer series for high school kids is incredible, and makes me wish I could go back to my own school years and take a session.

Stream the talk here live on Monday, April 5, or catch up with it later.
I’ll be sure to post a link to the saved version.

About katemckinnon

Kate McKinnon has devoted herself to the study of how things are done, and how they could be done better. Find her at or on some city street, walking fast, smiling at strangers.

6 comments on “CGB Talk at UCLA this Monday, tune in here

  1. Cath
    April 9, 2021

    I watched the recorded talk and enjoyed it very much. It is, above all, so wonderful to see your enthusiasm for this project. Funny that you talk about the energy of the pieces. I call it dynamics – which is not a correct word for morphing if the result doesn’t present any possibility of motion like the kaleidocycles, but I love that word. You know that I’m fan of morphing beadwork, but not good at names, so this is really very exciting – I know that you will come up with the best names for this.

  2. Jo Woolnough
    April 6, 2021

    Hi Kate,
    Managed to see your inspirational video on Vimeo as I missed the live talk – I love be a small part of the things that you all have made Kaleidocycles especially and I too have the Escher book to inspire me.
    I am glad to hear that the books will finally be printed & shipped as I knew my patience would pay off 😃and I know I will drooling with my mouth open throughout the whole thing lol.
    Please stay safe as I cannot wait to see the installation that you guys build and the collaborations that people bring to our art.

  3. Lisa Brenner
    April 5, 2021

    A wonderful presentation with many thoughtful comments by participants. Thank you, Kate and UCLA. I’m so glad I’ve been part of this journey. I will continue with my experimentation and will now view my box full of “mistakes” and samples with more respect from now on. Be well and continue creating.

    April 5, 2021

    What a wonderful talk.  As you described the ‘accident’ that lead to the discovery of the warped square and the importance of handwork vs. using computer generated patterns I realized you were actually describing an evolutionary process.  It’s extremely important that DNA does not always replicate itself precisely.  So:It would be really interesting if you have compiled a list of successful mistakes andcwhat they have led to…diversification events. Also (I am really going to date myself here) would it be possible to program an AI to create patterns with random mistakes,  a computer could do it often enough that even if a small fraction of them were interesting or successful or ‘neutral’ but alternative approaches it could be interesting. When I was in grad school, we did this sort of programming in Fortran to try to duplicate patterns of diversification and extinction in the fossil record. (The course was called probabilistic approaches in evolutionary biology taught by Dave Raup at the University of Chicago).  Trying to imagine what AI could do now? Finally, where can I find the batcycle bead along…?  Is it in the word press blog?

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPad

    • katemckinnon
      April 5, 2021

      Thank you, Janet! I don’t know who discovered the Warped Square in beads first, but it was likely someone like Diane Fitzgerald. It’s just one of those fundamental forms that will appear, eventually, and sometimes be discarded or sometimes catalogued. We hope for people who see these oddness and share them with others. Nico had the discovery naively, which is beautiful, but I was taught to make the form early on. I just never thought to connect them into a fabric!

      We are going to work with AI, and I look forward to seeing what GPT3 has to contribute, as soon as OpenAi lets us use the Dall-E and Image-GPT kernels to play with it. Currently we are in the pool of people who are interacting with a still-beta version of the language-based chatbot (and so lucky to be there).

      Please stay in touch! The BatCycle beadalong is still upcoming – I am creating our own server, essentially, so we can host the content without having to rely on Facebook etc.

  5. Sylvia Hall
    April 4, 2021

    Happy Easter Kate I wish I was a wee bit younger the eggbox bracelet looks absolutely fabulous to think about all that can be done it’s like a dream Sylvia Hall

    On Sun, 4 Apr 2021, 00:58 CONTEMPORARY GEOMETRIC BEADWORK, wrote:

    > katemckinnon posted: ” Greetings! I’m happy to say that we expect to be > back together as a team soon, as we are all now getting vaccinated and > should be able to travel, etc. by June. It will be so much fun to print and > ship our new books together, to bead together again as a t” >

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This entry was posted on April 3, 2021 by .


April 2021
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