Science and art often occupy the same broad spectrum. Scientific advancements often give way to new artistic mediums and forms; art, in the form of branding, logo design, what have you, is often imperative to the success of budding technologies whose basic representation isn’t really all that sexy. In the case of music, science and art intersect quite obviously, wherein producers will make use of various technologies to directly shape their art.
In extreme cases, science and art can even become intertwined at the biological level. At least two years ago, Nick Goldman, a geneticist at the European Bioinformatics Institute in the U.K., published a study that described methods of implanting various data in DNA. Replacing binary code, 1s and 0s, with genetic code, A-T-G-C, Goldman was able to encode DNA that was able to carry, for example, “Shakespeare’s sonnets, a photograph, and an mp3 clip of the famous ‘I have a dream’ speech.”
Now two years later, Goldman has teamed up with visual artist Charlotte Jarvis, the Kreutzer Quartet, and Artists & Engineers to create Music of the Spheres, a project designed to transform Goldman’s scientific discovery into a raw art form. (If you’re keeping track, we’ve put art on DNA and we’re now presenting that as art. Got it?)
Original music created by the Kreutzer Quartet will be encoded onto DNA in a liquid solution, via which Jarvis will create bubbles to fill the room of the exhibit. By doing this, guests will be literally “bathed in music.” But only metaphorically.
It shouldn’t really be a surprise that even though the bubbles are encoded with musical DNA, that music has no medium with which to be heard. (We don’t currently have the technology to decode musical DNA from the popping of bubbles in real time. We figure we’re still at least 20 years away from such a discovery.) The popping of the bubbles will be merely that, a pop, leaving guests a little sticky and wondering why they paid money for a ticket.
Art is often misunderstood, or not understood at all, as could very well be the case here. Such a monumental technological advancement, and what is being done with it? We’re making bubbles.