Genomix Mask and Complex Web of Life

Methodology

To illustrate connections between human-in-nature and nature-in-human, across these periodization : Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Plantationocene, and Chthulucene, we infuse many DNA from different organisms along side with human’s DNA to create the masks. The process of transforming DNA into art piece starting with using ClustalW2 DNA sequence alignment algorithm to compare nucleotides (A,T,C,G) from human DNA and DNA from other species. The similarity between two distinct DNA is used to generate a heat map visualization.We then stylize the visualization using deep learning style transfer algorithm (Gatys : 2015) to transfer the texture from the picture of the selected organisms on their DNA and vise versa.The deep learning network was pre-trained on VGG-16 model with 16-19 weight layers and 3×3 filters in all convolutional layers.The weight content / weight style is optimized to 8.5, 3.0 and the algorithm was performing 30 iterations. After the stylization, the visualization was used as visual elements for the artist to put to assemble the masks. This process is bio-inspired by the transcription process in living cells. On the philosophical level, our process depict our motivation to supersede ourselves into the masks that we create. On the other hand, like a mask, they superficially cover us. This contradiction is not a problem per se. Actually, incompatible between human and nature is really realistic and unavoidable.

Team