Mitochondrian Renewable Energy

Mitochondrion Renewable Energy Pool (2004) is made with recycled materials and solar power, the work is planned for nine acres on the grounds of the “Muckenthaler Cultural Center” located in Fullerton, CA.

This earth work depicts a cross section of the mitochondria, the organelle within the cell which creates energy by converting sugar into ATP. The installation from first glance will be hardly visible, it is only the magical droplets of water spurting from the horizon which will beckon the viewer towards the gleaming subterranean installation. These are the installation’s “solar pearls.”

It is fitting that this fountain is powered by solar energy and not dependant on an electrical cable because the mitochondria with their double membrane are much more independent than other organelles within the cell. For example, mitochondria reproduce by splitting in half, like a bacteria, and are not made of cellular constituents like other organelles. They also have their own set of DNA which is inherited maternally. The ridged folded structures within the mitochondria called “cristae” create maximum surface area and efficiency in converting energy.