DNA is the blueprint of life. The installation aims to bring this information stored in our cells to the surface by making artistic fashion pieces based on genetic information.
Combining science, fashion and technology, wearable pieces are created which portrait genetic structures through visual aesthetics. By knitting DNA pieces of different species visitors become aware of the similarities and differences between them. Variations in length and complexity of the genetic code can be visualised in the knitted artwork.
Based on the research of the scientific partner CRG, genetic information stored in chromosomes will be converted into several colour patterns. A knitting machine reads and replicates these patterns representing the DNA replication process. Visitors can witness and experience this process throughout
Already knitted artwork can be displayed along with the live knitting process/video as part of a growing exhibition of DNA inspired knitwear. Combining the replication of DNA with knitting machines shall further provoke discussions about the possibilities of controlled DNA editing.
DNA is the blueprint of life and ‘Inside-Out’ brings this information stored in our cells to the surface by making artistic fashion pieces based on genetic information. Combining science, fashion and technology, the goal was to create wearable pieces that showcase genetics through visual aesthetics, using textiles as a medium. This enabled the visitors to explore the artwork through multiple senses. Using the research from the scientific partner CRG and ChromDesign project, the artist Carolin Vogler wanted to make people aware of the beauty, complexity and structures that lie hidden within their bodies and inspire them to learn more about the genetic code.
The artwork consists of Couture Dress with reflective elements and underskirt, Chromosome Condensation Top, Chromatin Top, Hi-C Plaid skirt with reflective applications, and Discovery Top. The artwork uses prints inspired by processes used at the laboratory to make these findings. While being a resident at the laboratory, the artist realized that several steps and experiments were needed to confirm a single research hypothesis. These processes are not only visually appealing and technologically fascinating but also almost unheard of to the general public or even when research findings are presented in mainstream media. Yet without them, no results would have ever been possible.
Carolin Vogler on her booth presenting Inside-Out, at CENTQUATRE-Paris, during the STARTS Residencies Days 2020 @ Quentin Chevrier
This contrast of working with biological material using artificial materials is reflected in the material choices of the artwork: some use 100% wool, while others reflecting the processes are made from Polyester. Another important factor shaping the artwork came from an observation of the use of technology versus manual labour at the lab. New research questions ask for new processes and therefore involve many manual work steps. The outcome items were manually sewn or hand-knit, others use sublimation technology and laser cut to create the final pieces.
Tech partner profited from the residency as a communication and educative tool for non-scientific audiences. INSIDE OUT also encouraged and motivated the CRG communication team to explore other artistic collaborations. An additional aspect was to show to scientists that their work has aesthetic value and appears fascinating to people from different sectors.
Interview with Carolin Volger at CENTQUATRE-Paris, during the STARTS Residencies Days 2020