Neurological Institute / CANCER HAS STRUCTURE

LED installation created for The Montreal Neurological Institute –The NEURO– exhibited at Le Salon 1861, during A Brilliant Night fundraising event.

 
 

PROJECT DETAILS

Artistic installation visualizing normal cell and cancer stem cell development. Representing key moment in cell division, three monolithic pillars were commissioned by The Neuro to commemorate a major medical breakthrough: CANCER HAS STRUCTURE.

This discovery sheds new light on how cancer starts and develops. Showcased during the A Brilliant Night fundraising event which raised 1.2 million dollars to help The Neuro continue their groundbreaking research.

Below is the text displayed alongside the installation…

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Research

Since cancer is a mutation within a cell, this disease can take many forms, develop abnormally and spread quickly, which is why it we often think of cancer as purely chaotic. What this research suggests, is that there is in fact order amongst the chaos, but only at the highest level of development –when stem cells are first created.

To reach this conclusion, The Neuro had to collect data from millions of cells found in tumours through a procedure known as single cell RNA sequencing; a technique that reveals every action a cell performs, by piecing together its genetic makeup.

 

 

INSTALLATION DETAILS

Through a series of handmade LED panels, this installation showcases three pivotal moments in cell division. Each panel is split into two equal halves, with the left side showcasing normal cellular evolution, in contrast to cancerous cell development on the right. Each LED maps the journey of a cell, where the first two animations are highly ordered and the third is highly randomized. The animation begins at the top of Pillar 01 and cascades down each pillar in sequential order.

Pillar 01 stands at 6ft. (eye level) with each subsequent pillar growing in stature and cell count. Pillar 03 stands at a towering 12ft. above the spectator, representing the great challenge that researchers had to overcome in order to make this discovery.

 
 
Pillar 01 stands at 6 ft. (eye level) with mirrored top.

Pillar 01 stands at 6 ft. (eye level) with mirrored top.

Close-up Pillar 02; the angled top accentuates the cascading effect created by the LED animation.

Close-up Pillar 02; the angled top accentuates the cascading effect created by the LED animation.

Pillar 02 stands at 8 ft. with angled top.

Pillar 02 stands at 8 ft. with angled top.

Close-up Pillar 01; the mirrored top allows spectators to see how cells evolve at key developmental stages, as they are represented in Pillars 02 & 03. This vantage point personalizes the point of origin and experience.

Close-up Pillar 01; the mirrored top allows spectators to see how cells evolve at key developmental stages, as they are represented in Pillars 02 & 03. This vantage point personalizes the point of origin and experience.

 
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Pillar 03 stands at a towering 12ft. above the spectator.

Pillar 03 stands at a towering 12ft. above the spectator.

 

BEHIND THE SCENES

GIFs, GIFs and more GIFs at every step of the way!

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CREDITS

Major thank you to the Montreal Neurological Institute and the A Brilliant Night Foundation for inviting me to help commemorate this amazing discovery. Shout out to the crew at Machine D.A. for their incredible work on the structures!

Concept, Art Direction: George Simeo
Animation & LED Mapping: George Simeo
Technical Director: Daniel Freder
Typography & Technical Design: Thomas B. Martin
Design Firm: Machine D.A.
CNC Production: Zenit Boards
Videographer: Jon Yu
Event Lighting, Design & Tech: Total Events & Entertainment

Client: Montreal Neurological Institute
Chief Researchist: Dr. Kevin Petrecca
Research Associate & Advisor: Charles Couturier, MD, BSc
Producers: Heidi Small, Wendy Sculnick