Soma by the Flaming Lotus Girls translates the anatomy of neurons into metal, fire and light; magnifying the microscopic world to an epic scale. In Soma, an elegant axon arch connects an earthbound neuron with its partner floating overhead.
Soma is an interactive sculptural installation depicting two communicating neurons made of stainless steel, copper, aluminum, bronze, resin, fire and light. Each of Soma’s two neurons has a spinning fire nucleus. The nuclei are counter spinning balls of flame with variable speed motors.
Fire and light flow like electrochemical signals between Soma’s two neurons. Spinning balls of fire form the neuron’s nuclei. Slender dendrites extend to the sky and reach down to the earth, emitting constant flame and color changing light.
Soma is 25 feet high and 50 feet long. It is roughly a rectangular shape that occupies approximately 5,000 square feet including the fuel depot. She uses up to 100 gallons of fuel per hour.
There are 35 Dendrites using approx. 21’ of stainless steel tubing each. 735 feet of stainless steel tubing was used for dendrites over all.
Two dodecahedrons constructed from 24 stainless steel pentagons comprise the cell bodies of Soma, and enclose the nuclei. Each pentagon used about 10’ of stainless steel tubing. A total 240 feet of stainless steel tubing was used for the dodecahedrons.
There are flame effects running down the axon which simulate signal neurotransmission. Participants control the “neurotransmission” by pushing buttons. A “Sparkle Poof” simulates release of neurotransmitters at the synapse. Each aerial dendrite and the axon burn with continuous flame effects.