Waltz of the Polypeptides
The inspiration for Waltz of the Polypeptides (2003) comes from one of the smallest muses on the planet, a subject so tiny it can only be seen with an electron microscope. It is a sub-cellular organelle called a rhibosome. Within each cell, ribosomes produce the smallest functional elements in all living organisms, proteins. In Waltz of the Polypeptides the viewer literally walks through the birth of a single protein.
To create this work, Mara G. Haseltine studied the ribosomes and proteins and used accurate molecular renderings of electron microscopic and nuclear magnetic resonance images for her armatures. She manipulated this raw data using a 3-D computer program into a design which kept the integrity of Mother Nature’s form while simultaneously creating a work that was comprehensible and pleasing to its viewers. She then fabricated this design into three-dimensions using computer-driven 5-axis milling and rapid prototyping technologies. The work itself was created to be part of a living landscape inspired by the Zen gardens of Kyoto. Each part of the landscape represents a different part of the cell. Thus, when the viewer experiences “Waltz of the Polypeptides,” they are fully immersed into a fantastical environment based on a tiny part of the human body.
Materials: paint, metal, fiberglass, landscape, cast glass.
Dimensions: 84′ long, 17′ high, 9′ wide.