Can non-coding DNA be given a new lease of life through modern biotech processes? Proto-animate is concerned with genetic material that is considered inanimate in so far as it does not code for proteins within the genomic environment. However, these strands of non-coding DNA do have potential properties as yet to be comprehensively defined. In Proto-animate a novel code sequence is comprised of 158 DNA letters (bases) derived from what is considered a non-coding region of a gene. This gene known as the APOE gene (Apolipoprotein E) is associated with Alzheimer’s disease in humans. This sequence was inserted in E.coli bacteria and is the principal creative agent at work. Through this process a previously inanimate, non-coding section of DNA is poetically expressed in interplay of memories and repetition within the artist’s childhood classroom.
[Exhibition]. Visceral: The Living Art Experiment. (Dublin, Ireland 28 January - 25 February, 2011)