Monday, January 5, 2015

FAR-OUT ART AND MUSIC BASED ON BIOLOGY



If you think the free-form jazz of Ornette Coleman, the abstract art of Jackson Pollock or John Cage’s 4’33’’ are too far-out, consider the art of experimental artist/musicians Eduardo Kac and Peter Gena who used Biology to do their Art and Music.
WHAT EDUARDO KAC DID (see image above)
In his live Art entitled ‘Genesis’, Eduardo:
1.      Took a passage from the Bible (Genesis 1:26) “Let man have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth."
2.      Translated it into the dots and dashes of Morse Code
3.      Using an algorithm he designed, he then translated it to DNA’s  A, C, T, G protein base pairings  to have a design for a strand of DNA
4.      He then synthetically manufactured and injected this DNA strand into live bacteria.
5.      Using an electron microscope and with connection to the world wide web, he let the public view it.
6.      The public are invited (via the Internet ) to activate a switch and zap the bacteria with ultraviolet light, causing the bacteria DNA to mutate.
7.      The A. C, T, G pairings are thus continuously reshuffled, and the reverse translation back into text displayed on the screen.
8.      The mutation that took place in the DNA had changed the original sentence from the Bible.
9.      The mutated passage was then posted on the web site.
WHAT PETER GENA DID (see image above)
In his DNA Music works of art Peter:
1.      Worked with Geneticist Charles Strom, to translate DNA sequences from cells of various organs of the human body into musical notes via an elaborate algorithm that took into account pitch, intensity, speed, duration etc. The parameters of the translation can be seen in this .pdf shared from my Dropbox https://www.dropbox.com/s/b7yz86fve4g9r08/CIMXI-gena-strom.pdf?dl=0 .
2.      A score or manuscript is thus generated and can be played by musical groups e.g. an orchestra.
3.      For a particularly eerie example of his music titled He, Himself and Me using the DNA of Male Testosterone cells, see http://www.petergena.com/dihydtest.html . You must have a Quick Time Player installed on your device to hear this.
4.      Or you can hear some shorter length examples from my Dropbox links:



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