ASBMB: What are you currently working on?
Voss-Andreae: I just finished writing a new paper about my protein sculptures, to be published in the art/science magazine Leonardo. Now I’ve started working on a larger, privately commissioned bronze piece. At the same time I am working on a project that has kept me busy for some years now. I am basically attempting to recreate the shape of a human body as a cellular network of foam bubbles, which I want to conform to the body’s shape. That latter part is really tricky, and I am currently developing a third approach after a purely experimental one (with balloons as bubbles in a human mold) and a purely computational approach (where I minimized the soap film area while enforcing the boundary conditions). Right now I am in the process of turning many gigabytes of data into what will hopefully eventually become a sculpture.
You can view more of Julian Voss-Andreae's art on his website.
ASBMB: Would you like to share your next plans?
Voss-Andreae: I am incorporating the human being more into my work, and I have plans to have a whole exhibition devoted to that idea. This interest has two aspects: On one side, I find myself referencing the human body more and more, and on the other side, I am interested in allowing more of the human complexity, the miraculous, non-conscious creative powers to enter into my work. In painting that happened automatically: I would get into a meditative, all-observing state of mind and the information flowing into my eyes would get transformed and flowed out of my hand to create a painting in an almost completely non-conscious way. Despite or maybe because of this non-conscious filtering, the arising image often had new and unexpected features, and at the same time a degree of meaning and coherence that I find astonishing. In sculpture, and especially in larger-scale pieces, this openness to that kind of creativity is very hard to achieve because of the need to plan ahead to conform to the many restrictions imposed by reality, such as rain or gravity, or technical feasibility.
Roza Selimyan (email@example.com) is a research scientist at the National Institute on Aging.