Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) | Eduardo Kac | Stelarc | Joe Davis | Karl Sims | Eva Sutton | Daniel Lee | Susan Alexjander | Polona Tratnik | IN VIVO - IN VITRO


By Joe Davis

Microvenus is a short piece of synthetic DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid)
Containing a coded visual icon which has been spliced into a living strain of bacteria. By definition, bacteria containing Microvenus DNA are genetically-engineered microorganisms. Ultimately, Microvenus is a work of art; a poetic image, yet the project to create it originated as a collaboration in both art and science.
Now, like the particle/wave duality, neither explanation seems
Completely adequate.
The Microvenus project is a demonstration of the way in which
Extrabiological information may be written into DNA. To accomplish this, an intermediary language was created to convert generic databases into biological form.
This language - one of many possible such languages - was used to code a binary, graphic database into the arrangement of atoms that comprise a small synthetic molecule of DNA.


Joe Davis, is a research affiliate in the Department of Biology at MIT. He "is an artist who has done extensive research in molecular biology and bioinformatics for the production of genetic databases and new biological art forms. He has also constructed sculptural installation pieces, working with laser fabrication in plastics, steel, and stone; laser teleoperator systems; and structural welding in mild steel. His teaching experience in the MIT graduate architecture program (Master of Science in Visual Studies) and in undergraduate painting and mixed media at the Rhode Island School of Design has informed his artistic practice. He has exhibited in the United States, Canada, and Europe at Ars Electronica