'Bloom' kinetic sculpture by Studio Roso, commissioned for the 'Medicine and Us' gallery in Medicine: The Wellcome Galleries at the Science Museum, 2019. Hanging from the ceiling, a powder-coated black, branched, mild-steel structure spreads across the gallery and over the balcony into the neighbouring space. Each branch supports a polypropylene propeller, motor and LED unit. These glow, change colour and turn in 18 different sequences over a 20-minute loop.
Bloom evokes the movement and spread of disease through populations. As a 3D drawing in space, it echoes the diagrams that allow us to visualise and interpret the circulation of diseases. In each of the eighteen sequences, a propeller might be a single person's cough or sneeze, or might represent a whole metropolitan community; the colours change to represent the ebb and flow of symptoms as well as the disease's virulence. Each shows our individual and communal place in a network through which disease spreads, the kinds of networks that also allow the spread of knowledge, or the movement of medicines.