The Intersection of Arts and Science: Between the Folds

Paper Crafts

For folks interested in the intersection of arts and science, the PBS series Independent Lens is presenting a fascinating in-depth look into origami titled Between the Folds. The film documents “a determined group of theoretical scientists and fine artists who have abandoned their careers and scoffed at their graduate degrees to forge new lives as modern-day paper folders.”
Featured in the film are MIT’s youngest-ever tenured professor Dr. Erik Demaine; mathematician, sculptor, puzzle maker, and self-taught computer scientist Marty Demaine; master free-style folder Vincent Floderer; pioneering Israeli educator Miri Golan; mathematics professor Dr. Tom Hull; trained artist and instructor Paul Jackson; one of the most technically accomplished folders in the world, Eric Joisel; one of only a few handmade origami papermakers in the world, Michael LaFosse; origami “hyper-realist” and physicist Dr. Robert J. Lang (who was profiled in CRAFT Volume 05); material artist with a masterful understanding of patterns and geometry, Chris K. Palmer; and the father of modern origami, Akira Yoshizawa.
Screenings are part of the Independent Television Service‘s (ITVS) Community Cinema series, which are free, followed by discussion panels and access to resources.
Between the Folds will be showing in the Bay Area in Oakland on Tuesday, November 17 at 6:00 p.m. at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center and in San Francisco on Wednesday, November 18 at 5:45 p.m. at the San Francisco Main Library. For a list of screenings taking place across the country, check out the film site.
Here are a couple of interesting excerpts from the documentary to get a flavor for it. The following clip features Paul Jackson, an origami artists and art teacher living in Tel Aviv, Israel, speaking of the “one fold”:

And this clip shows Michael LaFosse, a master artisan who not only makes origami, but is one of the only handmade origami paper makers in the world, providing a window into his workshop and processes:

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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