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Sound Art: Bioluminescence


Hunter Cole (Photo Credit: Brian Bednarek)

Artist: Hunter Cole

www.HunterCole.org

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Biography:
Hunter Cole is an internationally shown artist and an experienced geneticist. She reinterprets science as art through the creation of living artworks, abstractions, digital art and installations confronting issues related to biotechnology in our culture. Cole holds a Ph.D. and Master’s degree in Genetics from the University of Wisconsin—Madison, and a Bachelor of Science from the University of California—Berkeley. Cole teaches both biology and art at Loyola University Chicago.

Title: Bioluminescence

Year: 2009

Duration: 9 min. 42 sec.

Statement:
Incandescence is the emission of visible light by a hot object. Chemiluminescence is a cool light created by a chemical reaction. Bioluminescence is light created by a chemical reaction happening in a living organism. The lux genes make proteins that play roles in bioluminescence in certain bacteria. A midi file was created from the protein sequences of luxA, luxB, luxC, luxD, luxE, luxF, and luxG using the Bio2MIDI program. In the Bio2MIDI program a different note is assigned to each of the twenty different amino acids found in proteins. In Bio2MIDI the tempo and type of scale used can be specified. The midi file generated from the Bio2MIDI program was imported into GarageBand into three tracks. Each track is played with a different instrument including Aquatic Sunbeam, Shimmering Flute, and Lunar Strings. The volume of the Aquatic Sunbeam track is played at a constant level while the volume of the Shimmering Flute and the Lunar Strings tracks varies throughout the composition. Bio2MIDI is available as a free download through the Algorithmic Arts website. GarageBand is a Macintosh program included in iLife. Bioluminescence is a musical composition including luxA, luxB, luxC, luxD, luxE, luxF, and luxG protein sequences. A shorter variation of this musical composition including luxA, luxB, luxC, luxD, and luxE protein sequences was created as the musical score for the Living Drawings movie. Living Drawings depict the cycle of life and death calling attention to our own mortality. Hunter Cole creates controlled line drawings using bioluminescent bacteria. The bacteria then grow on Petri dishes. The bacteria grow, first appearing with bright light, then dim and gradually die off as available nutrients are depleted. Bacteria are photographed using a time-lapse technique over a two-week period. Bacteria become collaborators in the art as it grows and dies. The bacteria contribute to the story in the art.

Download Bioluminescence.mp3

Hunter Cole - Her Own DNA - Living Drawings Created with Bioluminescent Bacteria with Protein Music

www.LivingDrawings.com

Bio2MIDI


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Copyright © 2009 Hunter Cole