The Human Equation

In November, Spanish artist Jaume Plensa’s Alchemist arrived on campus, where it is to be displayed outside the Student Center for a year. An anonymous alumnus lent the work as part of the MIT 150 celebration. The 2,500-­kilogram human figure is made up of numbers and mathematical symbols in “an homage to all the researchers and the scientists” who have contributed to scientific and mathematical knowledge, says artist representative Llibert Casanovas. It consists of welded, laser-cut stainless-steel numbers and symbols with a polyurethane enamel finish; they’re assembled into five sections that are bolted together and fastened to a concrete base. Five embedded lights illuminate Alchemist at night.

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