|Ecce Homology is an interactive installation that bridges art and science through the use of dynamic media, computer vision and computer graphics. Named after Friedrich Nietzsche’s Ecce Homo, a meditation on how one becomes what one is, the project explores human evolution by examining similarities – known as “homology” – between genes from human beings and a target organism, in this case the rice plant.
uses custom software to visualize genetic data as luminous pictograms
that resemble Chinese or Sanskrit calligraphy. Five projectors present
Ecce Homology’s calligraphic forms
across a 40-foot wide wall. A novel computer-vision interface allows
multiple participants, through their movement in the installation
space, to draw their own calligraphic characters and select genes
from the human genome for visualizing the Basic Local Alignment Search
a primary data-mining tool used worldwide in comparative genomics.
Results are presented as two superimposed pictograms.
Ecce Homology asks: Can artistic approaches and aesthetic experience nurture discovery in the sciences?