SciArt Magazine - All Issues - Page 9

Nanos (2006). 6’h. Stainless steel. Location: Private Collection, Lake Oswego (Ore.) the four protein sculptures. I visited a second time to help install the pieces. For the four sculptures, we used frames of a computer simulation of a folding protein. There is a really interesting research group in Illinois, Klaus Schulten’s at the Beckman Institute, who provided us with the structural data necessary to make the sculptures. They have been using supercomputers for the last decade to simulate more and more complex systems. One problem they are particularly interested in is how proteins go from unstructured chains of amino acids to the very specific three-dimensional conformation we see when we do X-ray crystallography and the data we used shows frame-by-frame how this happens. Q: You have a few lines of work, the two main SciArt in America August 2013 lines being your more conceptual physicsinspired figures and then your model-type protein sculptures — what would you say is the overall goal of your work, or separate goals with each? A: Both bodies of work fee l similar to me. They are about looking at the world in wonder, the process of achieving a kind of understanding that goes beyond the intellectual, and sharing that experience. I feel it is all-important that we expand our often only intellectual and fragmented understanding of the world to a sensual, more holistic one. A few people know a lot of details and those details lead to all the new drugs and technologies that critically shape our world for better or for worse. Our sensual grasp is lagging behind and my work aims at 9