Genetic Portraits of Infamous Viruses
The genomes for several viruses were transcoded directly into 6-bit RGB pixel values and rendered as the images above. Viruses featured include Ebola, Measles, Polio, Human Coronavirus (common cold and SARS), and Smallpox.
PS - I’m currently experimenting with weaving these images into blankets!
Genome Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/nuccore
Human Immunodeficiency Virus 2, Complete Genome
Complete genome rendered in a 6-bit color space. Nucleotids are assigned a predetermined value (A = 0, C = 85, G = 170, T = 255), grouped into triplets, then assigned to a pixel.
NCBI Reference Sequence: NC_001722.1
Influenza A Virus (A/New York/1669/2009(H1N1))
Genome rendered directly into a 6-bit RGB color space.
Homo sapiens chromosome 15 genomic contig, GRCh37.p10 Primary Assembly
I wanted to see what DNA would look like translated directly into RGB pixel values. My method assigns 2-bit values to each base pair (A, C, G, & T). Each triplet of base pair values is then translated directly into a 6-bit RGB pixel value. For example, the sequence ATG is equivalent to a single RGB pixel value: 0, 255, 170.
NCBI Reference Sequence: NT_037852.6
>gi|224514874|ref|NT_037852.6| Homo sapiens chromosome 15 genomic contig, GRCh37.p10 Primary Assembly
Typical Sunday Morning(?):
I wake up asking myself whether it would be possible to modify the ByteWriter program to visualize DNA.
After breakfast, a couple of cups of coffee, and a few hours, the answer is: It is.
After looking through a database containing the human genome and visualizing a portion of the 15th chromosome, partially responsible for eye and skin color, I noticed some repeating patterns.
This is what that first segment sounds like.
The source file contains only 4 characters (A, C, G, & T) in raw UTF-8 text. So the natural conversion is translating the data into 8-bit mono audio stream.
I can’t believe how much this resembles raw machine code.
All three pieces are off the looms! Putting the finishing touches on, getting these tapestries ready to hang. @textielmuseum
One down. Two to go.
Location: Textielmuseum, TextielLab, Tilburg, NL
Day 4 @ TextielLab Textielmusuem Tilburg, NL
The palette is fixed and I’ve settled on my final design constraints and source material. For the next two working days in the lab, I’ll be weaving fragments from core memory dumps. Raw binary data from my system RAM have been rendered into a 6-bit color-space with a total of 64 colors. The data itself is a collection of fragments of files, images, sounds, temporary data and programs, a sketch of my activities assembled according to the obscure logic of my operating system.
Complete documentation of the process and resources will come in the following weeks.
After having my PC Laptop, camera, and audio recorder stolen on a train to Amsterdam, I am in debt to my dear friend Jeroen Holthuis for helping me write a program in Processing which performs variable bits per channel rendering of raw binary data in a similar fashion to Paul Kerchen’s LoomPreview. He has also been kind enough to loan me his camera and host me for some of my time in the Netherlands. Many thanks!
Images created by rendering fragments of raw binary data from a memory core dump as 432px wide 6-bit RGB image files.
Attention Fellow Glitchers! I have an awesome new tool to share with you:
Written by Paul Kerchen, whom I had the pleasure of meeting at NOTACON 2013 where I was presenting the Glitch Textiles project. After talking about some ideas for the future of the project, we sat down and designed a simple utility that allows you to visualize RAW data in a wider variety of ways than available through applications like Photoshop or Gimp (even Irfanview!). Currently it’s WIN only but am hoping that the community can expand this application or integrate it into other image manipulation environments.
Visualized above is the raw data for the LoomPreview executable file as a 3-bit RGB image 384 pixels wide.
Help me support an emerging NY Experimental Media Art organization: Signal Culture, by contributing to their fundraising campaign on Indie GoGo:
Contribute at the $525 level and receive an iTunes executable Binary Blanket (pictured above).
Your contributions don’t have to be massive, every bit helps!
A collection of blankets aimed at making visible the hidden data structures that give shape to everyday life. The materiality of our digital age is composed of binary data encoded on electronic devices and transmitted through the airwaves on invisible frequencies of light. As an alternative to the screen, Binary Blankets literally gives you a way to experience the fabric of this otherwise invisible and intangible side of our digital world.
This initial collection features designs from a handful of binary files from programs such as Microsoft Word, iTunes, Google Chrome, and Mac OSX.
Each Design Limited to an Edition of 5.
$350 USD + $15 Shipping (see site for details)