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Title: “Replication”

Size: 15’x11’x5′

Materials: Acrylic, Stainless Steel, Carbon Steel, Color Chasing LED’s

 

Description: The mobile describes the act of DNA strand replication. The lighted acrylic assemblies represent nucleosomes. The smaller stainless steel double helix is the parent strand and the larger double helixes are the leading and trailing strands. The unlighted acrylic parts are the proteins that are part of the replication process.



Discussion: In hindsight, I faced two primary challenges in building this mobile. One was the vertical nature of the space and the other was lighting the parts from within and still holding true to a “mobile” sculpture as characterized by the work of American Sculptor Alexander Calder. Mobiles lend themselves to long, horizontal reaching compositions; a challenge in a vertical space. Mobiles need to appear as though they are free, floating and unfettered; a challenge for running wires. Ultimately, the mobile found its form through the replication model.

Verticality was achieved by turning the parent strand horizontally so that the mobile splits in the middle with one section running up and the other down and then spreading out again through the upper and lower nucleosome assemblies. The power wires are able to run up and down through the helixes and the helixes serve double duty as vertical tension members to support the sculptural elements below themselves. In order to allow the composition to focus in the middle of the space, this mobile employs through element connections. The first is through the upper nucleosome assembly down to the upper helix then through the upper polymerase, through the primosome and finally through the lower polymerase.

While the act of DNA replication is the point of departure for the sculpture and is convenient for discussing the various mobile elements of the sculpture, the composition can be interpreted in many ways. I think of the stainless steel and lighted acrylic parts as one organism where the large white disc in the center is a door or portal that the organism is passing through. The blue “bird-like” assemblies are other organisms in the same space. I see ocean floor steam vents and bioluminescent creatures from the deep.