michael jantzen

michael jantzen

Santa Fe, NM, US


Energetics, sculptures inspired by models of protein molecules.


Energetics is defined as the branch of science dealing with properties of energy and the way in which it is redistributed in physical, chemical, or biological processes.


This series of sculptures is entitled Energetics because it refers aesthetically to that process of the energy redistribution displayed in protein molecules.

Models of protein molecules that symbolically illustrate this energy redistribution were the visual inspiration for the sculptures. These models were particularly aesthetically interesting because they are designed to symbolically describe the actual physical function of the real molecules. As a result, they are made up from a wide variety of unexpected and seemingly unrelated physical elements of different colors and shapes.

My Energetic sculptures do not copy any of the molecule models directly, but rather form new abstractions made from the same or similar physical shapes and colors. The hope was to create never before seen sculptures that visually suggest that they have some kind of unknown function, which inspires the viewers to wonder what those functions might be.

Energetics is part of a series of many other art/science projects of mine that are designed to celebrate the beauty and complexity of science and the natural world. Some of those were created to be realized as large public sculptures that present themselves as monumental references to the real science.

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Status: Built
Location: Santa Fe, NM, US

Wall sculpture
Wall sculpture