Latent Figure Protocol


Latent Figure Protocol (LFP) is an installation that uses DNA samples to create representational images.
A “DNA fingerprint” is often mis-understood by the lay public to be a single, unique human identifier. Its complex banding patterns are imagined as an unchanging sentence written by Mother Nature herself that corresponds to each living creature. However, there are hundreds of different enzymes, primers and molecular probes that can be used to segment DNA and produce banding patterns. These patterns tell us as much about the enzyme/primer/probe as the subject that they appear to reproduce. Vanouse therefore claims that the DNA gel image IS a cultural construct that is too often naturalised – a thesis he artistically depicts in Latent Figure Protocol. The installation includes a live science experiment, the result of which is recorded and repeated for the duration of the exhibition. Employing a reactive gel and electrical current, Latent Figure Protocol produces images that relate directly to the DNA samples used. In one experiment, for instance, a copyright symbol is derived from the DNA of an industrially-produced organism (a plasmid called “pET-11a”), illuminating ethical questions around the changing status of organic life and the ownership of living organisms.


In his bio art lab at transmediale.11 Vanouse will create a series of unique symbols to explore various ethical questions around the changing status of organic life.



Opening times of the HacKaWay Zone:
10:00 - 16:00 free entry
17:00 - 22:00 entry only with Performance-HacKaWay-Ticket, Festivalpass, Kombipass, Tagespass, Press-Accreditation, Professional-Accreditation

Between 16:00 and 17:00 the HacKaWay Zone will be closed.

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