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Curious? Art+ Discovery: Code – Evolution, the Changes to DNA Over Generations

Source: Joan Sutherland Performing Arts Centre
Posted: 7 May 2018
Evolution is a mysterious machine. Based on simple rules, it tunes itself through selection of the fittest, but, rarely can the evolutionary process be observed before our eyes.

In a unique collaboration, artist Callum Howard and Western Sydney University’s molecular biologist Dr Mark Temple created Code – an intriguing, interactive experience that enables us to see how small changes to DNA sequences can have profound effects over many generations.

Callum Howard, media artist and software developer, has created Ars Anima, an artificial life simulation with abstract, virtual creatures that live and die, adapting to a changing virtual environment in an accelerated genetic struggle to be the fittest survivors.

Ars Anima reminded molecular biologist, Dr Mark Temple, of the first time he looked down a microscope to see a hidden dynamic world of cellular organisms. He was fascinated that the behaviour of Howard’s digital creatures was based on principles of evolutionary biology.

Intrigued, Temple sonified DNA sequences and used a computer tool to create an auditory display of DNA to accompany Howard’s Ars Anima visual simulation. Howard has programmed his little digital creatures to respond to this audio display where you can now see how evolution is accompanied by changes to DNA code.

Curious? Visit The Joan’s atrium foyer for Code, where through the aid of computer simulation it is possible to visualise the process of evolution.

Why not try your hand at building your own DNA model from the DNA fold template at The Joan and uncover Curious? Art + Discovery.

Proudly supported by Inspiring Australian and presented in partnership with Sydney Science Park. Curious? Art + Discovery is a program of playful interventions, reflective installations and facets of science that build a bridge between science and everyday life.

This initiative is supported by Inspiring Australia.

And presented in partnership with Sydney Science Park.


Curious? Art + Discovery

Code – evolution, the changes to DNA over generations

Dates:
7 May to 28 May

Venue:
The Joan’s atrium foyer, 597 High Street Penrith

 
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