23.05.14 by Jeff

Giveaway: Art Created From Your DNA


This week’s giveaway is something completely different; art generated from your very own DNA. Fast Company, and Vice recently wrote about a New York-based company called Genetic Ink offering wall-ready art sequenced from a swab of the cheek. The service is not limited to humans either, DNA from dogs and cats works as well.

I can see this freaking out as many people as it will fascinate. I remember artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg raised eyebrows with her series of 3D faces generated from DNA found on gum, cigarettes, and hair that she picked up off the street.

Generative art based on personal data has to be the most relevant depiction of the times we are living in. This is the age of algorithms, data visualisation, and everything private made public. I would love to see this data interpreted in completely different styles; perhaps less design-y and more painterly. DNA as a Kandinsky painting could be cool.

If you wanna know what you’d look like as a piece of generative art, we’re giving away a personalized print (24×32). What’s the most amazing use of science in art that you’ve seen? Leave a comment with your answer and we’ll pick a winner on Friday, June 6th.






Jeff Hamada is the Founder and Editor of Booooooom. He lives and works in Vancouver.

  • Rachael

    What an AWESOME giveaway. The coolest example of art in science I’ve seen is a scientist who specializes in autophagy and wanted to express it’s process via diferent forms of art. I attended his seminar where he had choreographed dancers express the mechanism of autophagy. He also had a musician assign different notes to each of the amino acids in all of the proteins used in autophagy, and then had him create a symphony to express autophagy musically. Very cool.
    Thanks for the chance to win!!

  • This is So Cool!!! I know an artist/biologist/environmental activist names Brandon Ballengee who created these AWSOME light up sculptures that acted as visual works as well as attractor certain species of bugs that he would then collect and do his biological work upon!

  • tia

    A decade ago I remember being fascinated by crochet illustrations of hyperbolic geometry. Not too sciency. You’d think an art teacher with a BS would pay more attention to the relationship between Art and science.

  • Paul Mullin

    One of my favorite uses of science (in this case, technology, specifically) is what a gentleman named Hal Lasko does. He is a 98-year old, former graphic designer with wet macular degeneration, but he was able to continue his artistic career thanks to MS Paint – he zooms in and goes pixel by pixel to create some quite beautiful pieces.

  • Joe

    I had to go back and search around the web for these because they’re from way back in 2006:

    Simon Hall at the University of Bristol (http://www.mrs.org/s06-science-as-art-winners/) won a competition for his microscopic photos of bryozoa (tiny marine invertebrates) making funny faces. In terms of science in art I feel like you can’t beat the Hubble Space Telescope for pure awe – but it takes some real creativity to find something this cheeky and present it in such a fun way. I can tell he must have been studying these, staring at them day after day through a microscope in some generic lab, then on some loopy afternoon he started seeing faces in there and from then on couldn’t help but see faces in all of them.

  • levlevlev

    BRAINBOW has got to take the cake for being both mind-blowing in it’s approach, and gorgeous in its execution. Two transgenic mice strains are crossed, one containing Cre recombinase, and another containing several LoxP sites in its genetic code – when these sites intersect, the genetic code in between is expressed. In this case, the code in between the LoxP sites codes for fluorescent proteins, adapted from glowing jellyfish. The random recombination of genetic code that occurs when mice strains are crossed and bred generates this random coloured pattern of fluorescent protein expression. Each blob is a neuron in the hippocampus dendate gyrus. Science and art are not mutually exclusive :)

  • I’ve seen embroidery with human hair, paintings and drawings with blood, sculptures made from human bone – but this is so much cooler because it is not “gross” or weird in any way, just plain beautiful!

  • Michelle Shaw

    The most amazing example I’ve seen was print work based on human blood cells during leukaemia, I remember seeing this work when I was studying Fine Art at uni, and being a survivor of childhood leukaemia myself, I found it fascinating.

  • K Porter

    Damien Hirst…

  • Merve

    Rafael-Lozano Hemmer does beautiful interactive installations (in the context of a collective community) with human voices, images, fingerprints and even breaths, keeps you and your mind busy for hours :)

  • JPDL

    Josiah McElheny explores cosmology, history and politics in blown glass.
    I was particularly taken with his blown glass representations of universes. The dimensions and placement of the components all relate to scientific properties.
    I was able to see this at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston in 2012.

  • Teemu Syrjälä

    What an interesting and inspiring consept that is! I assume not a single piece of this art is similar, assuming the DNA sample is from a diploid organism. Fascinating!

    I was checking this one book called Flash Math Creativity out around 2003, fell in love with it and bought it in a heartbeat. The book introduces various coders who create moving as well as still images by mathematics and technology (coding flash, duh!). The work created can be anything from the simplest of dots and patterns to the most intricate and inspiring graphic and mathematical designs. These can be achieved by creating a basic piece of code and iterate it. I don’t know anything about coding but that doesn’t stop me from picking up the book from my shelf every now and then, glancing through the pages and wowing myself, even 11 years later!

  • Daneisha

    This! I can’t think of any other science inspired art right now, as it is late. But this is really amazing!

  • Jonathan mthsn

    Interesting work! Would love the giveaway!!
    Jonathan Keats expo on cloning multicellular beings iow. Humans in yeast, single cellular – spoke to me in a way.

  • P.

    I love science! And art! And my favourite application of both is in everyone’s favourite – food. My reco is all things Modernist Cuisine. Food is science is art.

  • TheMatrixDNA

    Intersection between science and art will be very fruitful, creative, learning the new Matrix/DNA Theory world view and its models of natural architectures. We need understand that working Nature is all about organization of matter/energy into “dynamic, living systems”, and now, the theory has discovered the fundamental universal formula for each existent natural system. For example: yours own hands were built by that formula, as every sub-systems, every acessories of yours body. You never had noticed it, but… the shapes and functionality of yours fingers mimics the shapes and functionality of yours entire body being transformed by the process of life’s cycle. The palm is the central tool of creation ( F1 in the formula), the minor finger is the baby, the other fingers is the baby changing shapes till the last one, the senior “polegar”.

    So, only with this sample we can imagine lots of theatrical presentations for explaining each meaning of each detail of human body. But, using the formula, we can mimics theatrically each detail from atoms to galaxies.

    Power paint is a mechanical product mimicking the mechanical aspect of Nature when a system is a closed system. Dance and other productions from human brain is the living biological product mimicking the aspect of opened systems. Computer simulations are leaving human specie to fit into the model as closed system, described by Huxley, Orwell, as the Admirable New World under the Big Brother. The tentative for art simulations is the other way, the one that could keep our mind from that slavery. Congratulations to the authors…

  • Torni

    I so want one of these!
    The most amazing (and kinda scary) use of science in art is by a real cyborg I met called Neil Harbisson. Born with Achromatopsia (colour blindness), Neil created a way to hear colour and create beautiful art to what he hears, including colours invisible to the human eye. His work is of colour in sounds of faces, cities, food and everything around him, I could talk about him for ages he is truly fascinating and his work is fantastic once you realise what it is! Check him out – http://chromatology.wordpress.com/2013/02/18/neil-harbisson-sonochromatic-cyborg-artist/

  • Torni

    The most amazing science in art is by a cyborg met called Neil Harbisson. Born with Achromatopsia (colour blindness), he had surgery enabling him to hear colour. He has in turn re created the colour wheel to true colours we really see, eats his favourite songs and creates fascinating art depicting the true colours of cities, faces and everything around him. He can even hear colour which is invisible to the human eye. I could talk about this guy for hours – check him out!


  • Congrats to Torni! Check your inbox!

18.08.17 by Staff

“Happy Breakfast” by Artist Gary Card

“Happy Breakfast” is a psychedelic zine by set designer and artist Gary Card. Filled with colourful and chaotic images that blur the line between cute and creepy, what began as a commission for Japanese magazine Them, has turned into something of an ongoing experiment thanks to London-based publishers Katie Bagley and Ferry Gouw of New World International. See more images below.

Read More

18.08.17 by Staff

Artist Spotlight: Kelly Bjork

Paintings by Seattle-based artist and illustrator Kelly Bjork (previously featured here). See more images below.

Read More

18.08.17 by Staff

Artist Spotlight: Rachael Jablo

Collages by artist Rachael Jablo, currently living and working in Berlin. Informed by the work of English botanist and photographer Anna Atkins, Jablo tears up photograms of flowers, piecing them back together to create new shapes and patterns. See more images from “Where are you going, where have you been?” below.

Read More

18.08.17 by Staff

Artist Spotlight: Ed Cheverton

A selection of playful work by Bristol-based artist and illustrator Ed Cheverton, including several animations based on some of his 3D toys! See more images below.

Read More

17.08.17 by Staff

Artist Spotlight: Daniel Bilmes

Paintings by Los Angeles-based artist Daniel Bilmes. See more images below.

Read More