The virus is a slightly different form of sculpture to the others in this garden of light to mark its unusual form.
There has been much debate over the nature of viruses in the recent past as they appear to lack some of the generally accepted attributes that define things as being alive! They take over and use the hosts own cells to replicate themselves by tampering deep inside their nuclei.
‘For about 100 years, the scientific community has repeatedly changed its collective mind over what viruses are. First seen as poisons, then as life-forms, then biological chemicals, viruses today are thought of as being in a gray area between living and nonliving: they cannot replicate on their own but can do so in truly living cells and can also affect the behaviour of their hosts profoundly. The categorization of viruses as nonliving during much of the modern era of biological science has had an unintended consequence: it has led most researchers to ignore viruses in the study of evolution. Finally, however, scientists are beginning to appreciate viruses as fundamental players in the history of life.’ Scientific American
I looked at various types of plastic to create the Coronavirus light-sculpture. I looked at scale and texture to try and capture the weird geometry and the unusual colours. These colours are often artefacts of the microscopy process, but give an unearthly feel. The various elements I have used give a delicacy to the surface. In the actual virus this is its point of power (these lock into your system) but also weakness as soaps can “rub off” these elements.
We have lost many folk before their time to this deadly biochemical living machine. There is a great dilemma over how we coexist with different living things and at want point a dangerous parasite becomes a lovely creation of nature.
In our quest for knowledge we have unlocked many boxes of secrets, boxes that can never be shut, nuclear fission, designer organisms and quantum physics. Meanwhile our rapid expansion and hunger for resources has led to us creating large processing and marketing hubs where live and dead animals and parts of animals mix, although microbes are in no way new we have made it easier for them to breed, crossover and travel. Our arrogance may well often be the engine that drives our development but it also creates elements of our potential nemesis, ; be that reactor failures, climate change, poison gas leaks or pandemics.
John became part of the Same Sky team in 1991 and went onto become Artistic Director in 2001.