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****This artwork was accidentally damaged on 6/12/2018 and is being repaired. It is marked “archive” until it is reinstalled, anticipated late summer 2018.****
Musical DNA is an interactive sound sculpture. User input connects the musical notes to create simple musical compositions. More complex compositions are possible with the cooperation of multiple users. The artwork helps users become fluent in the language of music through the interaction of geometry, sound, and color: allowing them to “see” music.
The sculpture itself consists of two 4-foot square pieces of plexiglass, supported by a steel framework designed to house the touch sensor “domes”, LED lighting, wiring, and microcomputer controllers. People interact with hand-sized plexiglass domes that trigger the sounds and lights required to teach music visually through the production of visual geometric chords.
The installation is the creation of Mark Kesling, and artist, science educator, and founder/CEO of The daVinci Pursuit, a non-profit organization creating projects that connect art, science, and community. Other contributors to the artwork are Ken Lemons, Alex Porter, Christopher Doeden, and Clyde Pennington.
The sculpture is a physical representation of another daVinci Pursuit project, the Musical DNA software, an algorithm that allows efficient ways to learn, process, and experience sound by combining the audio and visual centers of the brain.
The Circle of Life
In 2018, the daVinci Pursuit partnered with artist Pat Mack to create a series of sculptures along the Urban Wilderness Trail near IUPUI in Indianapolis. The area in which the sculptures are located is focused on pollinators and their essential role in the urban environment. The three sculptures–Cliff Swallow, Monarch Butterfly, and Milkweed Plant–show the interconnectedness and coevolution of species. Each has a role to play in the creation of a balanced and healthy ecosystem.
The artist was given a list of flora and fauna important to the ecosystem, and was able to help identify the three species to create as sculptures. The artworks were created not to be in scale with each other, but to highlight features of the various species. Additional sculptures will be added as the Urban Wilderness Trail develops.
Pat Mack is an Indianapolis-based sculptor. He has been a full-time artist since 1995, and works primarily in metal.
The artwork and associated educational signage were produced in association with Partners for the White River, an initiative funded by the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust.
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