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Paul Vanouse 

Artist Paul Vanouse visited CLICK Festival 2016 with his biotechnological live installation Latent Figure Protocol (LFP) where he produced, instead of images from DNA, images out of DNA. In LFP unlike the usual abstract banding patterns of so-called ‘genetic fingerprints’, recognizable figures surprisingly appear, such as an intriguing picture puzzle, to self-organize in motifs such as ID, 01, the copyright symbol (©), the hen and the egg, or the skull & crossbones emblem.

Vanouse critiques the metaphor of genetic fingerprints: Are they really unchanging sentences, written by ‘Mother Nature’ herself, capable of differentiating one individual from all others? Contrary to common belief, the abstract banding patterns emerging in DNA imaging technology as much from its enzymes, primers  and molecular probes as they do from the analyzed subject of the experience. Vanouse generates iconic images from known DNA samples instead of the customary abstract patterns from unknown DNA samples, by treating each lane on the gel as a row of pixels composed of DNA fragments, creating a 2D grid of bands resembling a low-resolution bitmap image.

DNA - How to create an image

Interview by Barbara Scherfig, Denmark 2016
Camera: Elisabetta Saiu
Editing: Elisabetta Saiu
Produced by Barbara Scherfig
Copyright: Kulturværftet 2016


Interview. 15:35 min.