Jon Karafin


The Seven Prerequisites for Life is a biological sculpture that exhibits all of the main functions of a natural organism: growth, evolution, metabolism, response, reproduction, order, and regulation. Exhibited in Rochester, New York in December 2007, this sculpture has attained recognition in local news media and the internationally syndicated Ripley's Believe It or Not for its innovation in the field of art-science integration. The following thesis explores my artistic motivations behind this endeavor, traversing from early fascination with magic through more mature investigations into the relationship between the fine arts, sciences, and mathematics. Intertwined with my enduring attraction to photography is the belief that this artistic discipline is--more so than any other--the exploitation of physical and chemical phenomena to complete scientific studies of one's surroundings. This holds particularly true for the first pioneers in the photographic process, who as combined inventors and artists provided inspiration for me as I attempted to take a similar approach to my sculptural work. The outcome of this may be observed in my current piece, which reflects the many scientific and mathematic principles incorporated in its creation. Also intrinsic to its manifestation are the concepts of zero-point energy and the body as a biological photograph. Self-guided studies into quantum theory and metaphysics have led me to the awareness that all organisms are vessels of light, both absorbing and emitting it as an essential life function. This underlying concept has guided me to create a synthetic being of energy in the universe's image.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Sculpture--Themes, motives; Sculpture--Technique; Biology in art

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School of Art (CIAS)


Mulligan, Therese

Advisor/Committee Member

Lieberman, Jessica


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: NB1170 .K37 2009


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