This artwork is based on the relationship between zebra fish and genetic data generated through their use as biomedical models in pigmentation research carried out in Dr Robert Kelsh’s laboratory, Department of Bioscience and Biochemistry, University of Bath. It was produced collaboratively by artists David Strang and Deborah Robinson, and developed in consultation with Dr Kelsh.
The artwork is shown on 2 separate screens. On the left hand screen is data representing the model’s output in a wild type fish (the control) and, on the right, the output for fish mutant at the mitfa gene (where 2 dark blank vertical columns appear). In the science, it is the comparison of the outputs from the models that illuminates gene function.
Each video has been constructed using 2 layers. On each, data slowly scrolls in, operating as a veil concealing and revealing underlying footage of the shadowy movements of the zebra fish, originally filmed in Dr Kelsh’s laboratory.
The sound is created through applying the data files to hydrophone recordings made inside the fish tanks.
The flow of data, as it gradually reveals the images of fish, metaphorically parallels ways in which the mathematical modeling serves to clarify our understanding of the genetics in an observed reality.
“DAta Unveiling” was premiered at The European Society Pigment Cell Researchers conference, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute (2010)
“Data Unveiling” was included in “BEFORE THE CRASH – Art and Science collide” (2011), Exeter. This exhibition was organized by Simpleware Ltd. under the auspices of a £1 million pound European Framework 7 Grant (ISWA) exploring the interface between Science and the Arts and involved events scheduled in Rome, Prague, Moscow, Vienna and Paris.