LATENT ENERGY

Location

Fred Pirkle Engineering & Technology Center, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, TX

Year

2015

Dimensions

13' x 9' x 25'

Media

steel, acrylic, LED lighting, electronics

Client

Sam Houston State University

Vibrant orange structures hold white translucent spheres in careful and deliberate patterns. A main tower of clusters gently tessellates down to the ground plane, with two separated clusters tapering the group into the surrounding foliage. At night, the clusters glow in bright vibrant colors, revealing their apparent abstraction as a representation of molecular transformation.

 

Latent Energy interprets a portion of a hydrocarbon molecule transitioning from its liquid to its solid form. This transition is characterized by the release of energy and an expansion in volume. This is the phase transition that Fred Pirkle, the namesake of the engineering building this work sits adjacent to, used in much of his work. The sculpture also imagines students developing personal structure through education and growth. The ‘phase transition’ that occurs in students as they reach a more solid state is also accompanied by a release of energy as they mature.