Molecular Clock

Submitted by Sean Capone


Client: Night Lights Denver

Location: Denver, CO, United States

Completion date: 2020

Project Team

Lead Artist, Art Director

Sean Capone

Sean Capone Studio

Commissioning agent, exhibitor

Night Lights Denver

Night Lights Denver


Molecular Clock is an animated projection-map mural for Night Lights Denver, a public art festival.
Originally commissioned by the Supernova Digital Animation Festival for Night Lights Denver, a public art program that presents projection artworks on the historic Clocktower building in the heart of downtown Denver.
‘Molecular Clock’ is a generative digital animation depicting fanciful microbiological flora and virus-like organisms churning in a cyclical swirl of phantasmagoric fission. The work was inspired by scientific imagery that emerged in the media during the early days of the COVID crisis, and the visual symbolism of the Clocktower building itself, which was temporarily transformed into a kind of ‘vanitas’ — a genre of still life painting which symbolizes mortality, the passing of time, and the cycles of nature.


Night Lights Denver is a permanent projection mapping installation from the Denver Theater District to support innovative artists with an experimental platform, featuring content that rotates on a monthly basis. NLD projects artistic, civic, and creative content on the historic Daniels & Fisher Tower. All programming is free and open to the public, and free of commercial advertising. The installation is subtitled "the People's Projector." The core of NLD is a yearly cycle of commissioned artworks, presented in a compilation format that loops during evening hours and is repeated nightly for a full month.


The commissioning brief was open, but adhered to the theme of the Supernova Digital Animation Festival's 2020 program "World On Fire", supporting viewpoints that reflected on the circumstances facing the world during the COVID crisis.
The entire project was executed remotely during lockdown. A projection-mapping template was supplied to the artist, who then designed the final work and delivered it electronically. In order to help promote and support the Festival, a limited edition, artist-designed 'Molecular Clock' facemask was produced and distributed to festival subscribers and attendees.