Working at the crossroads of genetics and art, Paul Vanouse has been creating interdisciplinary installations since 1990. For nearly twenty years, Vanouse has sought to force the arcane codes of scientific communication into a broader cultural language. His work has been exhibited widely in the United States and international venues including the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes in Buenos Aires, Argentina; the Louvre in Paris; and the TePapa Museum in Wellington, New Zealand. He is featured in the book Information Arts by Stephen Wilson and has been funded by the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts, The New York Foundation for the Arts, and the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship, among others. His project, Labor, received the Golden Nica at Prix Ars Electronica in 2019. Vanouse is a Professor of Art at the University at Buffalo, NY, where he is also founding Director of the Coalesce Center for Biological Art a major facet of UB’s Community of Excellence in Genomics, Environment and Microbiomics.
Photo: Liz Linder
Latent Figure Protocol
Working at the crossroads of genetics and art, Paul Vanouse has been creating interdisciplinary installations since 1990.Artist Bio
Latent Figure Protocol is a media installation that uses DNA samples to create representational visual art works. Like many of Paul Vanouse’s projects, the process begins with a live science experiment, the result of which is videotaped and repeated for the duration of the gallery exhibit. Employing a reactive gel and electrical current, Latent Figure Protocol produces images that relate directly to the DNA samples he employs. In one, a copyright symbol is derived from the DNA of genetically modified crops, illuminating ethical questions around the changing status of organic life and the ownership of living organisms. Vanouse’s computer simulation software that make generating images for this project easier. He’s also expanding his image repertoire to include more metaphorical images, i.e. planes or birds.