Helicase, 2023

2023, kinetic sculpture (brass, motors, gears, programming)

Helicase is a permanent site-specific sculpture created for the library at UK artificial intelligence company DeepMind’s headquarters, Kings Cross, London. 

Taking as its point of departure the Double Helix, a scientific symbol embedded in our collective consciousness, Helicase consists of a vertical array of horizontal brass pendulums which rotate slowly to generate interrelating wave-forms in a double-helix formation.

The winding and unwinding motion of the pendulums, a sequence of actions which is realised through a simple algorithm, mimics the way that Helicase enzymes spin DNA to replicate it. 

The rod and ball pendulums, similar to those used in scientific wave-form modelling machines, play with our visual perceptions while our brain attempts to read the shifting forms, reminding us of   the human tendency towards pattern recognition, one of the key foundations of AI machine-learning. 

Commissioner: DeepMind

Curator: Modus Operandi

Fabrication: millimetre

Helicase (detail), 2023

Helicase, 2023

Helicase, 2023

Helicase, 2023