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Eduardo Kac, United States
Genesis, 1999
Transgenic net installation
Selected by: Christiane Paul
Genesis creates a synthetic “artist’s gene” by translating a sentence from the biblical book of Genesis into Morse code, and converting the Morse code into DNA base pairs. The synthetic gene is cloned into plasmids, which are then transformed into bacteria. In the gallery installation, visitors encounter a pedestal with a petri dish containing the bacteria with a UV light over it, which disrupts the DNA sequence in the plasmid and accelerates the mutation rate. Visitors to the Genesis Web site are able to remotely turn the UV light on, thus interfering with and influencing the process. Genesis examines the relationship between information technology and biotechnology, belief systems, ethics, and the Internet–and literally becomes a life-shaping force. The interplay between these various realms is created by the translation of different forms of information. This results in the creation of a life form that was originally based on language and “code.”
Eduardo Kac