“Ribbon of Life” is a modern representation of the DNA Double Helix, which is at the basis of life.
The Ribbon is extremely complex, holding near infinite potential, yet is elegant in it’s design. The emergence of DNA marks a significant moment of creation. The double stranded molecule is generative and therefore, it’s ordered and infinitely diverse expression, emerges through its cosmic relation.
Ribbon of Life #1/4 was customized for Dennis Lo, one of the world’s leading geneticists. Dennis discovered the presence of cell-free fetal DNA in maternal blood and has spearheaded the development of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT). He has also seen the parallels between NIPT and cancer screening and pioneered the development of multi-cancer early detection tests. For his work, Dennis is a Royal Medal recipient and was awarded the Breakthrough in Life Sciences 2021, the Lasker Award in 2022 for the Development of Noninvasive Prenatal DNA Test, among other prestigious awards.
It was an honor and genuine pleasure for Fields to work closely with Dennis on this piece. Ribbon of Life marries two of Fields greatest passions – science and art.
Carbon Fiber, Bronze or Stainless Steel
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In the same way that this piece is a marriage between art and science, it is also a marriage with technology.
Ribbon of Life is about capturing a feeling as much as a structure. The structure it seeks to represent holds near infinite potential as a basis for life and intelligence. But just importantly, Ribbon of Life seeks to capture the implicit and explicit beauty of DNA and life itself, in mesmerizing form.
Fields values quality of execution as much as he does quality of design. Both are necessary in his view to fully move the viewer. In order to ensure that the piece would not wobble or have any irregularities as it rotates, he had to combine numerous advanced technologies to achieve aerospace level accuracy of form. Substantial production challenges could have been avoided if Fields demand for perfection were not so high. The ribbons were created milled in one piece to ensure surface continuity and final overall conformity to the master CAD within 2 mm.
Even with advanced technology, Ribbon of Life, required hundreds of hours of hand work to create a flawless surface. Once achieved, Fields explored hundreds of different tints, tones, and shades to find the perfect white to achieve the goals of his client – fresh, joyful, and ethereal. A specialized finish over the white allows it to absorb light, through subservice scattering, adding an even more otherworldly quality to how the piece plays with light.
A visual paradox of this piece is that it appears very simple but hidden under the surface and hidden in its creation are numerous challenges, complexities, engineering, technology as well as qualitative qualities of Fields himself.
This piece could not be a reality without the following people:
Final surfacing of form.
Flawless white coating with satin finish.
Essential to the delivery and installation of the sculpture and much more.
Flawless production of the ribbons to exacting tolerances,
Key CAD design, engineering and production of various components including the motor assembly.
Also, much more.
Danny J Vogleman & Parker Bradstreet