Beta Amyloid Light

Miniature Environment

Artist Statement

 

The miniature environment installation focuses on the Alzheimer’s disease, and is inspired by artists Felix Gonzalez Torres, William Utermohlen, Anna Schuleit, Andy Singleton, and Polina Sinyatkina. The installation works as a sculpture created from a lamp, magazine paper, shadows and light. The purpose of the installation was to communicate the effect on the brain of the person suffering from the Alzheimer’s disease. The space may have several sense-driving factors such as visual texture, heat, movement, and sound.

 

Alzheimer’s disease is a slowly progressing, irreversible neurodegenerative brain disease that is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States. This disease is the only top-10 death that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed creating a growing encumbrance for the patients, their care takers, and the healthcare system. It is believed that Alzheimer’s disease is caused by the buildup of two proteins in the brain—amyloid beta and tau—thought to be caused by advanced age and/or genetic factors. As scientifically documented, the protein is represented by a curled, ribbon-like form. These proteins create tangles which disrupt nerve cells and impair the neurological function of the brain.

 

The architectural structure of the lamp was advantageous. At first, it was possible to see through the lamp. As the plaques grew in numbers, as they would within the brain, they forced a foggy reflection on the wall. As the days turn to night, Alzheimer’s patients might experience mood swings and their mental state is further disrupted. The obstructed view of the lightbulb further presented the limitations of growing ideas within the brain. While the paper protein plaques contained writing, the writing became trivial as the minds of the patients no longer understood or remembered themselves, families, and facts. Coincidentally, while rolling the paper proteins to create the conjunction of plaques, my brain would disappear into a hypnotic state and perform the task without a second thought. Surprisingly, once snapped back into reality, the idea or rolling paper also resonated with the way Alzheimer’s patients fold tissue paper methodically.

 

The overwhelming statistics about the disease may illuminate an emotionally triggered response that affects all patients and caretakers. As some members in my family are affected by this disease, it is important to shed light on the substantial physical, mental, and financial toll on those who are battling the disease and those who are caring for them. 

Brainstorming Process

Disease data and  information

 

Alzheimer’s disease is a slowly progressing, irreversible neurodegenerative brain disease with a long preclinical phase (an estimated 20 years or longer) and an average clinical duration of 8-10 years.

Alzheimer’s disease is the 6th leading cause of death in the US

Alzheimer’s disease is the only top-10 cause of death that cannot be prevented, cured, or even slowed, making it one of the most important unmet medical needs of our time.

Alzheimer’s disease is a growing burden for patients, care partners, and the healthcare system

Alzheimer’s disease takes a substantial physical, mental, and financial toll on care partners

It is believed that Alzheimer’s disease is based on the buildup of two proteins in the brain—amyloid beta and tau—thought to be caused by advanced age and/or genetic factors.

What do you want to communicate? The effect of Alzheimer's disease on the brain of the person suffering from it. 

 

How can you activate a tiny space to make the viewer feel something? The space may have several sense-driving factors, like visual texture, heat, visual and physical movement. It is important to get an emotional reaction from the viewer as they discover the meaning behind the piece and the overwhelming statistics about this disease. 

 

How can you engage one or more of the viewer’s senses? The installation may move, the light against the wall may scatter at different positions from the lamp's rotation, the viewer may feel the heat from the lamp on their face

Polina Sinyatkina

She organized an exhibition “Hold Your Breath” wholly dedicated to tuberculosis diseased. The statistics say that tuberculosis is the most widespread reason for death in Russia and as long as people are afraid to discuss it, the ratings will be high. Polina’s project aims to ruin stereotypes and start curing instead of hiding.

Enigmatic Alzheimer's Protein illustration 

Damaged Neuron Process Illustration