Elizabeth Parent, Liam O'Leary, 2019
Starlight Gone portrays how loss can initiate a union that protects against future loss. We constructed metal wire sculptures that are that are to-scale replicas of astrocytes found in the human prefrontal cortex. The flame in the soma of the largest astrocyte structure grows larger as viewers approach it, indicating that the expression of depression is often the loss of human contact.
The electroluminescent wire resembles the communication between the astrocytes, which has recently been shown to be decreased in depression. Each flicker of the LED flame in the large astrocyte symbolizes gene expression changes, which will result in different messages being sent from the astrocyte to the cells around it.
The layered soundscape resembles how human relationships relate to a more diverse sense of belonging. This piece is made to remind viewers that even their silent presence can aid the psychological well-being of their peers.