back to the main page

 Vitruvian WoMan / A Breath for Leonardo

3D interactive installation

Soundscape: Andre Bartetzki

Interface: Piotr Slomczewski, Andre Bartetzki

teaser: / Stereoscopic 3D teaser:



Vitruvian WoMan / A Breath for Leonardo: is an interactive installation, in which Leonardo’s famous drawing of Vetruvian Man is transformed into a dynamic multidimensional geometry of the fundamental molecule of life, the RNA molecule. Using his/her breath, an interactor  transforms molecular states and moves through various paths of the poetic labyrinth of shifting identities.

Vitruvian Woman

In the artpiece, the figure of Vitruvian Man , an anthropometric canon expressing “cosmografia del minor mondo”,  is replaced by a figure of the artist as Vitruvian WoMan , expressing a new perspective in relations between a human being and the environment



The piece was inspired by the latest scientific research on the fundamental molecule of life – the RNA molecule from which, according to the RNA World hypothesis, the Big Web of Life evolved. The  RNA (ybonucelic acid)  is the base of the phylogenetic tree, showing the evolutionary relationships among various biological species and entities.  

Today RNA plays a key role in most cellular processes and the translation of the genetic information into proteins, thus it is considered a key tool of biotechnology and bioengineering.

Contrary to the past, when algorithms of life were only in hands of Nature, today algorithms of life are influenced and driven by culture towards the future life designed by technology.
Thus Vitruvian WoMan strives to propose a new quality or orientation of mind, by stimulating imagination and reflection, brought about through our attempt not only to follow and control in real-time but even to anticipate the transformation of data, shaping our future.



We assume that we are living in the world of interacting data from elementary particles, through biological structures to most complex eigen-dynamics of our entire world, with constant interactions between all levels. In this universe each breath, each action, each thought matters. In the universe of interacting data, no data can be ‘lost’ nor considered as ‘vanished’. Even Leonardo da Vinci’s data are present, here and now, making us able to imagine him 500 years after his death and further
Your breath contains around 25 sextillions (that’s 25 followed by 21 zeroes) air molecules, which may spread around the globe within a couple of years. According to mathematical calculations, roughly one molecule of Leonardo’s air will appear in your next breath.
Your body is composed of astronomical numbers of atoms, mainly oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen born in the cores of distant stars. However, these atoms don’t stay long by you, being replaced in 99,999 % by other atoms in a span of seven years. In your retina, you may have right now an atom of Leonardo, which before was a part of a jellyfish, a leaf or a bird.

Mind: genius, like Leonardo, results from a unique configuration of data which happens periodically, it is a wave sustained by uncountable small waves resonating in each of us.
You can strengthen them by your passionate/undaunted curiosity, resulting in the creation of a new kind of genius of the 21 st, century.

The artwork is realised with the support of Prof. Janusz Bujnicki’s Lab, at the International Centre for Molecular and Cell Biology Warsaw,    

The piece was presented as a solo exhibition at the 7th EUROBIOTECH Congress in Cracow 2019,  in the fifth centenary of Leonardo da Vinci’s death. The great Renaissance master became a symbol of human creativity and interdisciplinary knowledge, bridging artistic practice with ‘scientific’ exploration of nature. “A Breath for Leonardo” is designed to pay homage to this great genius at the threshold of the digital age of New Renaissance. 


The piece was a part of the presentation of EpiMimesis Epizone V: Shifting Identities awarded by the medal of Magnus Laurentius Medices, Intenational Biennale of Contemprary Art Florence 2019