This is an experimental online experience exploring the speculative nature of sensory data in the sciences. It imagines a sociology of microbiomes, illustrating the parallel between their behaviors and human behavior, such as camouflage as a metaphor for anti-surveillance.
The experiments are part of continuing research on the phenomena of translation and data interpretation, and the illusions of truth and reality at large. Part film, part essay, there is no one outcome in the series of interactions that it offers. Designed to have one beginning, it hosts many outcomes. The sequence of interactions mimics the repetition and randomization in the chain of biological data in amino acids and DNA.
These 20 theses, in combination, appropriate scientific ideas and sociocultural metaphors to contemplate the nature of evolution. Some of the experiments are inspired by the anomalies found in the sciences including medicine, biotechnology, neurobehavioral psychology.
However, the science is not the subject. It is a choreographed dance of chaos, a jazz improvisation. The puzzles are an attempt to disrupt the order in a cosmos of secrets, to elicit treasure seeking impulses, and offer an elaborate differential diagnosis on life, survival, and nature of evolution.
This research has informed the creation of an algorithm and cipher that translates text into bio data. This new data is the blueprint to synthesize proteins with a new form of ethical intelligence embedded in them. Pairing these newly synthesized proteins with existing proteins forms a face-to-face dialogue that can be translated back with the help of this algorithm. Is there a message in the interactions of these microbiomes that gets lost in translation? Can we create biological transmissions to these known yet mysterious/unknown territories? Rather than looking outwards and into the space, can we look inwards for technological civilizations? If Interspecies communication is the first step into extraterrestrial communication, we need to aim at creating systems that de-center human communication and prioritize listening over broadcasting.
The ambition of this phase of the project is to inspire the spectators:
to question the scientific act of translation: the translation of raw data into information and the translation of information into “facts.”
to gaze from a distance, and consider the shift in perspective when reality is viewed from macro and micro scales.
to think about metaphor as an act of translation.
to consider the sociology of the microcosmos: how behaviors like camouflage and deception are means of survival. Is there a psychopathy to evolutionary survival?
to think about life as an algorithm: a series of interactions formed by relationships, wherein intelligence is formed by continual input.
to consider chaos necessary for life: as the random seed in DNA that allows evolution; as the means necessary to upset cultural comfort and restructure outmoded social norms; and as the explosive counterforce to entropy in the galactic cycle of creation.
This project is partially funded by the BioArts Residency program at the University City Science Center in Philadelphia, PA.