The 30 Computers Sculpture Project
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Computer Virus Sculpture #7:

AdenoCD Virus (2012)

The sculpture is a representation of the Adenovirus. This biological virus is one of several types of viruses that have an icosahedral shape with distinct modules. The Adenovirus serotype 36 virus has been associated with human obesity and it has been reported that this virus can spread just like the common cold virus. It has been associated with many other health problems as Emma Lurie describes in her blog Adopt a Microbe


This image was produced using Visual Molecular Dynamics (VDM 1.9.1). .

Artomatic Crystal City - May 18-June 23, 2012

Viruses at Artomatic 2012 - by Vincent Racaniello (Virology Blog)
The Science of Artomatic - by Sarah Zielinski (Sarah's Science)

This photo of AdenoCD virus is staged to match the image prepared by Dr. Richard Feldmann .

The five hexons surrounding each penton are indicated by the hard drive platters.

Comments from Artomatic

So Cool!! - virologist
This amazing! New, stop your work! -V
I love your art!!! It is very interesting and unique. Have a nice day!!!
Hey Forrest, Cool new one! - Francine
Have a nice day!
Cool exhibit!! I love how you incorporate/tie-in science and art! - From a fellow scientist/artist, Aeron Waters
I looove your sculpture, I think I caught the bug!! - CG
Hard on the drive?
We were and and are wondering why you don't put this in the yard, so we cal ALL enjoy it. Some dog walkers
I like it
Yes!! When I was a kid & saw a bacteriophage I was awed at its mechanical nature. Your sculpture is really on the mark.
Well done, sir!! Who's the mode with the CD ear rings?
I love it forrest! It's good to be a geek!
My geek will love these!
*Different, but in a great way. Gave me a new perspective. Great Work!
I want to se a herpesviridae, like, EBV? NCI-Frederick
What's with the CDs!!!
Hi Forrest - I stopped by today. It's Vincent Racaniello from TWIV.TV (This week in Virology.) Love your work - Keep it up!
Love you. Geek Virus. Fantastic, really cool to see it in person
Love it!!
Hola! Barbara & Jose
Very cool. Thanks!
Nice work
Love the combination of art&science its something that's not thought enough about.
That is very nice and creative!!
Awesome. Ya won me over
If I had million of dollars, I would buy this & make a friend put this in their backyard & confuse people.
Weird, shining thing! Yay!
It's Art (and science) BRILLIANT!
Cool. Thanks for the invite.
Amazing best one in the whole building
Great effort & Great Art. Would have loved a little more elaboration on Computer Viruses. ** Yes!!! It is Art.
Very interesting and Impressive! thanks for sharing
Makes me want to break things. All the things, starting with this.
...interesting and impressive
Science & Art... Awesome!!
This is so cool I love it. You Rock!!
What a fun installation you have!
I really liked this - It would be a great display at NIH

So HOW exactly does one get a adenovirus through a 32 inch doorway? The virus splits in two.

The Back Story

The AdenoCD Computer Virus Sculpture project was first conceptualized in the fall of 2009. It was three years in the making. Like my father always said, "It takes a deadline to get things done." He was right once again. The Artomatic 2012 came along at just the right time to push this project through to the finish line. The following highlights some of the many steps along the way. I have received lots of help and support from many people during this project but most of all from Martha Starr.

On Mother's Day 2012, my dearest wife, Martha saved me once again. First, by keeping me from flying down the road in a U-Haul van with the back door wide open with parts and materials flying all around. Once we got down to Crystal City, there were five, big Artomatic volunteers who gave us excellent help and brought the modules down the ramps and into the building. Once we squeezed through the doorways, Martha helped me unpack, unload and set up the sculptures. It was not the best Mother's Day for her; and I owe her big time.

I could not have even started down the road without help from the Garno Family. Greg, Jenn, Olivia, Charlie and Henry all helped load up the sculpture into the computer virus transport modules then into a U-Haul van. Charlie found spots that were missing CDs. Olivia cleaned up and vacuumed out the transport modules. Greg helped me disassemble and load the sculptures into the transport modules. Jenn, with Henry in her arms, saved Greg and I from dropping one of the AdenoCD halves. Once they were loaded up, Greg and I we rolled the 300lb modules up the ramps into the U-Haul van.

Attaching the Hexons - May 2012

Tiago and Kelly were tremendously helpful as they worked under the glare of large spot lights late into the night finishing up attaching the hexon CDs. They kept going until we ran out of CDs of a consistent color. Kelly was pitching in even though she was still feeling the effects of having her five (5!) wisdom teeth pulled.

Matthew Shaheen was a great help attaching the first set of CD hexons. The edge dimensions were not perfectly consistent so in some cases we had to grind down the CDs so they fit snugly against the penton knobs. We attached about half of the 20 faces on a beautiful hot and sunny afternoon.

Hexon/CD-ROMs & Platters

CD-ROMs Contributions

All of these CDs were provided by Andy Allen. They worked out great. CDs can come with lots of different shades of color, blue, gold, and shades of silver. It was very fortunate that all of the CDs that Andy provided all had the same shade. Thanks Andy!

Hard Drive Contributions

WANTED: DEAD or DISABLED Hard Drive Platters

No.ContributorDrive Manuf.ModelSizePlatters
1Contributor 1digitalDSP3107L1.08GB4
2Contributor 1digitalDSP3107L1.08GB4
3Contributor 1Quantum FireballCX 6.8 AT6.8GB1
4Contributor 1Western DigitalWD80080GB3
5Contributor 1SeagateST34573W4.5GB3
6Contributor 1SeagateST34573W4.5GB3
7Contributor 1SeagateST34573W4.5GB3
8Contributor 1SeagateST34573W4.5GB3
9Contributor 1SeagateST34573W4.5GB3
10Contributor 1SeagateST39173LW9.1GB5
11Contributor 1SeagateST39173LW9.1GB5
12Contributor 2Western DigitalWD20020GB1
13Contributor 2Western DigitalWD40040GB2
14Contributor 2Western DigitalWD80080GB2

Quantum FireballCX 6.8 AT
Western DigitalWD200
Western DigitalWD400
Western DigitalWD800

Painting - April 2012

The rest of the summer of 2011 was spent fiberglassing the capsids with System Three epoxy and fiberglass mat. Then I installed a metal rim and constructed the transport modules. It was a busy summer. The spring of 2012 started quickly. After sanding one more time the capsids were ready to paint with oil-based enamel.

Painting pictures Painting pictures

Taking Shape - August 2011

The next step in the process will be to fiberglass the capsid and attach CDs to represent the adenovirus hexons. This sculpture will be covered with 240 CD disks each representing one of the hexons. Of 240 hexons that comprise the outer shell of the Adenovirus, 120 cover the edges, 4 to an edge. The rest cover the 20 faces, also requiring 120 hexons.

The 12 pentons at the vertices and the 12 spheres at the end of the fibers are made from cement; steel rebar is used for the fibers. CAT 5 cables will be used to cover the 12 fibers.

Total  252

Buying the Raw Materials - November 2009

Sakrete 12" Form Tube The Three Tubes
Pentagon Pyramid Two Halves and Edges
Building the Structure A Peek Inside CenterBall
The Icosahedral Frame

Calculating the Dimensions of the Capsid

Given that the CDs along each edge must be bent, constructing this sculpture began with the mathematical problem of determining the radius of the curve that when a CD were bent over the edge it became tangent to the flat face. See diagram below.

The circle has two tangent lines that intersect at 138.2 degrees, the dihedral angle of an icosahedron. The arc distance between the two tangent points must be 4 11/16 inches which is the diameter of a CD. A 12" diameter tube comes close satisfying these requirements.

Thanks to Mike Heffner for checking these calculations and for pointing out the errors of my ways.

The next step is to head off to my most favorite art supply store: Home Depot.


External Links

Donna Connor"s A la Carte Green: Creative Genius
MicrobiologyBytes: on Adenovirus
Imaging the building blocks of viruses
Liu, H., L. Jin, S.B.S. Koh, I. Atanasov, S. Schein, L. Wu, and Z.H. Zhou. 2010. Atomic structure of human adenovirus by cryo-EM reveals interactions among protein networks. Science. 329: 1038-1043. Epub 2010 27 August. The authors and the Science Magazine also provide on-line supporting materials that include incredible movies of this virus. Here is one.
Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Gazebo adorned with an Adenovirus Sculpture
Salk Viral Vector Core
Gene in Pieces The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 1993
U.S. National Library of Medicine: Gene therapy using an adenovirus vector
Krackeler Scientific, Inc. Introduction to Adenovirus Technology
VIPERdb is a database for icosahedral virus capsid structures
Adenovirus (1990), an IEEE rendering by (art)n artists Ellen Sandor, Stephan Meyers and Craig Ahmer
The Obesity Bug, And Other News From Nerdland, Discover Magazine
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