Down a small side street off London's heaving Tottenham Court Road, a new digital art work is confounding and delighting passersbys.
Anarchy in the Organism by Simeon Nelson covers four windows in the new University College London cancer hospital on Capper Street and is presented with the nearby Wellcome Trust.
Machine noises bleep and harp from speakers pressed against the glass while four large LCD TV screens play a random series of red anarchic cancers destroying, or being destroyed by grey tree-like organisms.
Nelson is professor of sculpture in the school of creative arts, at the university of Hertfordshire, told The Huffington Post in an interview above, that the piece looks at cancer in a systemic way.
"We developed complex coding to create the piece. We used computer languages to create these organisms that grown and evolve. The computer coding we used allowed us to create a programme that mimics the way that cancer operates," he said.
Observed from The Huffington Post offices directly across the road, the reactions to the piece vary from none, to confusion and long, drawn-out stares.
Situated as it is on a thoroughfare, people marching either to the hospital, the nearby station or off for a lunchtime fuel dash often fail to notice it. The remarkable piece blends into one more new London building.
At night the effect is different. London stills and the sound becomes more intense.
The work is somewhat harsh, and graphic, and seemingly removes the human from the cancer narrative. But surrounding each screen are layers of vinyl tape that appear as boggle-eyed faces surrounding the piece.
Faced with questions about whether the piece should have been softer, or prettier, as it confronts such a painful subject, Nelson counters, saying the work is full of hope, showing that cancer does not always win.
Anarchy in the Organism was, like the workers in the surrounding buildings, recently placed at the centre of a hostage and bomb crisis which led to the arrest of a 50-year-old Hemel Hempstead man.
The piece was fortunately not damaged. The bleeps and deliberately unpredictable permutations of the cancers depicted spawned, grew, inflated and collapsed throughout, much like the surrounding chaos.
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