SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (2024)

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A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the Requirements of Nottingham Trent University

For the degree of Doctor of Philosophy


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Thesis Abstract

Art’s search for new subjects and methods and science’s need for effective

communication have led to the creation of what is known as Sci-Art. It is the

central argument of this thesis that collaboration between creative and scientific

disciplines can play a useful role in society, but that this potential is held back by

misunderstanding of the roles of art and science.

The main purpose of this practice-based research project, which is also

supported by a written thesis, is to determine the relationship between artists and

scientists, focusing on the visualisation of DNA. The project will identify their

shared approaches to its representation, and will explore the history of DNA as an

iconic form. An additional purpose of this study is to analyse the importance of

the role of collaboration between scientists and artists including its application to


My method is to review Sci-Art work and analyze the benefit of

collaboration between science and art. Part of this research will focus on the

benefits of Sci-Art collaboration for education. This part of the research involved

a case study at Trinity Catholic School, with a project called Laboratories.

Collaborative artworks and exhibitions are the final outcome of this project; they

explore the ways in which Sci-Art can be developed as a useful form of

interdisciplinary practice. These creative methods provide a route to a deeper

understanding of the relationship between art and science.

The thesis demonstrates through a combination of theoretical argument

and creative practice that Sci-Art has the potential to: Act as an aid to

understanding difficult scientific concepts; add to debate about the ethical issues

surrounding science and increase the effectiveness of education.


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Thanks to Professor John Newling who is my direct of studies, Professor

Simon Lewis who is my second supervisor, and Professor Richard Woodfield who

was my second supervisor and retired in 2005. They are my masters and guide me

to understand not only the world of art, but also the meaning of life since 2003.

Special thanks to Inchul Choi who is my private science teacher and criticized my

thought with his different views on science and art. However, as my best friend,

he supported me in many ways during my PhD course.


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Thesis Abstract........................................................................................................ ii

Acknowledgements ................................................................................................ iii

Contents ................................................................................................................. iv

Chapter 1 ................................................................................................................. 1

Introduction of Art and Science .............................................................................. 1

1.0 Research questions ........................................................................................ 1

1.1 Outline of chapters ........................................................................................ 1

1.2 Introduction................................................................................................... 2

1.3 Definition of Art and Science ....................................................................... 3

1.4 Similarities in the Aims of Art and Science.................................................. 5

1.5 Differences in Aims between Art and Science ............................................. 6

1.6 Artists’ and Scientists’ interpretation............................................................ 8

1.7 Comparing Artistic Sculpture and Scientific Models of DNA ..................... 9

1.8 Art, Science and the Public: Building the Triangular Bridge ..................... 10

1.9 Conclusions ................................................................................................. 16

Chapter 2 ............................................................................................................... 18

Discovery of DNA Structure by Watson and Crick in 1953................................. 18

2.0 Introduction................................................................................................. 18

2.1 DNA structure ............................................................................................. 19

2.2 History of the Visualization of DNA Structure Before 1953...................... 21

2.3 History of the Visualization of DNA Structure After 1953 ........................ 26

2.4 Conclusion - Interpretation and Visualisation in Science ........................... 30

Chapter 3 ............................................................................................................... 33

DNA as Cultural Icon ........................................................................................... 33

3.0 Introduction................................................................................................. 33

3.1 DNA in Science .......................................................................................... 33

3.2 DNA as cultural icon in Art ........................................................................ 35

3.3 Genetics in popular culture ......................................................................... 36

3.4 ‘Iconic DNA’ and genetic determinism ...................................................... 39

3.5 Conclusions - The Power of DNA in Culture ............................................. 41

Chapter 4 ............................................................................................................... 43


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Visualisation of DNA by scientists ....................................................................... 43

4.0 Introduction................................................................................................. 43

4.1 Direct Observation ...................................................................................... 44

4.2 Indirect Observation.................................................................................... 46

4.3 Information in visualisation ........................................................................ 48

4.4 Conclusions ................................................................................................. 54

Chapter 5 ............................................................................................................... 56

Visualisation of DNA by artists ............................................................................ 56

5.0 DNA as an artist’s subject........................................................................... 56

5.1 First DNA structure in painting .................................................................. 57

5.2 Visualization of DNA by artists.................................................................. 57

5.2.1 DNA as the new portrait .......................................................................... 58

5.2.2 Monsters................................................................................................... 61

5.2.3 Transgenic ................................................................................................ 64

5.2.4 New Eugenics .......................................................................................... 67

5.2.5 Commodity............................................................................................... 69

5.3 Conclusions ................................................................................................. 72

Chapter 6 ............................................................................................................... 75

Collaboration between art and science in education:............................................ 75

A case study at Trinity Catholic School................................................................ 75

6.0 Introduction................................................................................................. 75

6.1 Sci-Art in School and Laboratory ............................................................... 78

6.2 Workshop using science as a resource for creative art ............................... 80

6.3 Questionnaire ............................................................................................. 88

6.4 Discussion ................................................................................................... 90

6.5 Conclusions ................................................................................................. 92

Chapter 7 ............................................................................................................... 95

Art exhibitions based on interdisciplinary approaches to science and art ............ 95

7.0 Introduction................................................................................................. 95

7.1 Art Exhibitions and Projects ....................................................................... 97

7.2 Representation of DNA structure as a celebration of nature....................... 97

7.2.1DNA Desire and DNA Endless 2004 ......................................................... 99

7.2.2 GM (DNA modification) and GM (Genetic modification).................... 100

7.2.3 DNA Sea Shell ....................................................................................... 101


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7.2.4 DNA Connection.................................................................................... 102

7.2.5 DNA Tombstone .................................................................................... 103

7.3 The Adventure of the Double Helix.......................................................... 111

7.4 Life is Endless Desire ............................................................................... 117

7.5 ART: Visual artists from the UK ............................................................... 126

7.6 Laboratory ................................................................................................ 131

7.7 Conclusions ............................................................................................... 134

Chapter 8 ............................................................................................................. 137

Conclusion .......................................................................................................... 137

8. 0 Thesis conclusion and further research questions.................................... 137

Bibliography........................................................................................................ 143

Appendices.......................................................................................................... 154


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Chapter 1

Introduction of Art and Science

1.0 Research questions

Since 1990, an increasing number of artists have been inspired by

biotechnology and the social and moral issues that surround it. Sci-Art is the

generic name given to artworks that use scientific concepts, images or technology.

The purpose of this practice-based research project, which is also supported by a

written thesis, is to determine the relationship between artists and scientists,

focusing on the visualisation of DNA. The project will identify their shared

approaches to its representation, and will explore the history of DNA as an iconic

form. An additional purpose of this study is to analyse the importance of the role

of collaboration between scientists and artists (referred to here as Sci-Art),

including its application to education.

My research questions are:

• What are the differences and similarities in the visualization of

DNA and biotechnology by artists and scientists?

• Why has the DNA structure become a cultural icon?

• What is the role of Sci-Art in contemporary society?

1.1 Outline of chapters

Each chapter of this thesis contributes to answering the research questions.

The first research question will be covered in chapters 1, 2, 4 and 5. Chapter 1

will include discussion of the similarity and differences between art and science,

followed by an evaluation of the benefits of Sci-Art collaboration. Chapter 2

explores the process of scientific innovation, focusing on Watson and Crick’s

discovery of DNA, and the ways in which they visualised its structure. In chapter4,

I will discuss the visualization of DNA by scientists, and how drawing reflects

their research interests. Chapter 5 analyses the visualisation of DNA by artists,

and is categorized into five sections by their subjects: new portrait; mutation and

monsters; transgenics; eugenics and commodity. The second question will be


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covered Chapter3. Chapter 3 examines DNA as an iconic structure and the factors

that give it this iconic status. I will analyze the role of the relationship between

images and society, particularly in the interactions between art and science.

The third question will be covered in Chapters 6 and 7. I will argue for the

importance of collaboration between art and science in education. Chapter 6 will

cover the analysis of Sci-Art questionnaires which were carried out with students

from Trinity Catholic School. These two-part questionnaires were designed to

explore: 1) the question as to how students regard science and art, and 2) their

attitudes towards Sci-Art. Chapter 7 will introduce my own artworks, which

represent science as a site or mediator of the beauty of nature. Informed by my

analysis of Sci-Art collaboration, my artworks aim to provide a deeper

understanding of the relationships between art and science, and the ways in which

Sci-Art could be developed and progressed as a useful form of interdisciplinary


1.2 Introduction

In this chapter, I would like to discuss the relationships between art and

science. As Martin Kemp (2005, p. 308-309) pointed out, to generalise about the

relationship is not so much hazardous as impossible because neither science nor

art are hom*ogeneous categories and they both deal with a number of aspects.

Science ranges from the observed complexities of environmental biology to the

unseeable dimensions of theoretical physics. Art extends from the figurative

representations of nature to the elusive abstractions of conceptual art. Even if we

take one subject, molecular biology, for example – or in particular, DNA – its

expansion into art may vary from iconographical reference to reflection of

biotechnology on our future.

In this aspect, I believe that both art and science should be considered as a

very powerful ‘engine’ in our culture. Thus, it could be argued that we still need

to research in terms of interdisciplinary aspects. For example, Lizzie Burns, a

painter who was formerly a biochemistry researcher at the University of Oxford,

comments that much has been written about linking art and science, but that it is

very difficult for each discipline to understand each other (Fazackerley 2004).


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This is possibly because some people are frightened of science’s developments in


However, pictures and models can make things easier to understand. Burns

suggests that we really need to encourage the public to get involved with projects

about art and science. Because these projects are mostly supported by taxpayers’

money the public should know where it is going (Fazackerley 2004).

I strongly agree with her view. Plainly one of the roles or aims of Sci-Art

is the collaboration between science and art as a tool to help with the

understanding of science. There are also other benefits to be had through

interaction between artists and scientists. To explore this relationship, I will begin

with an attempt to define art and science respectively. Further sections of this

chapter will determine what the kinds of benefits are, and establish the

relationship between art and science.

1.3 Definition of Art and Science

There are a number of definitions for art and science in dictionaries. In

summary, art and science can be described as follows: definitions compiled from

The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary on historical principles (1989), Webster’s

Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913), The American Heritage (2000).

Art is defined as:

1. Human effort to imitate, supplement, alter, or counteract the work of


2. The production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium

3. Human works of beauty considered as a group

4. High quality of conception or execution, as found in works of beauty;

aesthetic value.

5. A non-scientific branch of learning; one of the liberal arts

Science is defined as:

6. Knowledge; knowledge of principles and causes; ascertained truth of



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7. Accumulated and established knowledge, which has been systematized

and formulated with reference to the discovery of general truths or the

operation of general laws; knowledge classified and made available in

work, life, or the search for truth; comprehensive, profound, or

philosophical knowledge.

8. Knowledge when it relates to the physical world and its phenomena,

the nature, constitution, and forces of matter, the qualities and

functions of living tissues, etc.; called also natural science, and

physical science.

9. Art, skill, or expertness, regarded as the result of knowledge of laws

and principles.

There is a marked contrast between art and science by these definitions.

According to these definitions, we assume that art is based on skill and science is

based on knowledge. It is interesting to look at one of the definitions of art which

is a non-scientific branch of learning and one of the definitions of science

describes that science is art, skill, or expertness, regarded as the result of

knowledge of laws and principles.

There is an overlap of definitions between art and science. Therefore, to

understand art and science better, we need to consider the relationship between

them. According to Ernst Fischer, art historian and philosopher, the historical

origin of art and science lies in the ritual of everyday living. In his book The

Necessity of Art (Fischer 1959), Fischer says that in ancient times these rituals

were performed to mediate between human life and the uncertainties of world.

But in more modern times, the unified domain of art and science became isolated

and divided, and each established its own distinct domain (Fischer 1959, p. 36).

The question arises as to why the boundaries are maintained between art

and science. The practical usefulness of knowledge through science can be seen as

one of the reasons for divergence, but it is not enough to answer the question as to

why the two domains should remain separate. Therefore the following section

addresses the similarities and differences in art and science.


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1.4 Similarities in the Aims of Art and Science

When it comes to the content of art and science, the overlap of science and

art is admittedly very small. This is because modern science is abstract,

impersonal, reliable and empirically tested whilst art is individualistic and offers

us an alternative, legitimate and personal take on reality (Carey 2005). It is

worthwhile now to look at some real areas of common concern and overlap. Piet

Mondrian, known as ‘the father of geometric abstraction’, was the artist who

simplified visual compositions to the vertical and horizontal directions. In 1937,

he wrote:

For there are “made” laws, “discovered” laws, but also

laws – a truth for all time. These are more or less hidden in the

reality which surrounds us and do not change. Not only science

but art also, shows us that reality, at first incomprehensible,

gradually reveals itself, by the mutual relations that are

inherent in things (Miller 2000, p. 379).

As mentioned above, Mondrian wrote that the both art and science present

reality. The reality of science is different from art which can be gradually found in

the understanding of humans and culture and might be constant. This kind of

reality can be seen in various artworks in art history. Mondrian was himself

inspired by science, deploying some of that inspiration in his abstract paintings.

Stephen Wilson’s analysis in his book, Information Arts (2002), is useful

for understanding these similarities and differences. First, he explains the

similarities by which art and science propose to introduce change, innovation, or

improvement over what exists (Wilson 2002, p. 18-19). They also both use

abstract models to understand the world based on the careful observation of their

environments. According to Ken Arnold, who is head of public events at the

Wellcome Trust, intellectual curiosity for the natural world is what artists and

scientists have in common with each other.


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Both art and science are essentially ordering activities,

part of the universal human inclination to find, expose and

celebrate the world’s structures and patterns. Even more

fundamentally, they gesture towards the fact that both art and

science are expressions of a common intellectual curiosity- the

profound human desire to know things, which often starts with

the possibility of envisioning and therefore of making a picture

of them (Arnold in: Ede 2000, p. 68).

Art historian Martin Kemp also shares this opinion of the similarities

between art and science. In his book Visualization (2000), he suggests that there

are many similarities to be found in the process – rather than their end products –

of art and science. Examples include observation, structured speculation,

visualization, exploitation of analogy and metaphor, experimental testing. In

particular, Kemp points out that visualization plays a central role in both

disciplines, in their use of imagination, inspiration and creativity (Kemp 2000, p.


In my opinion, creativity is a shared value of those aspiring to produce

something of universal relevance. Both art and science are ways of understanding

and representing the world, and both must involve creativity in order to succeed.

They show us how to analyse and communicate our perceptions, experiences, and

can inspire us and consequently enrich our imagination.

1.5 Differences in Aims between Art and Science

Stephen Wilson suggests that a reason for the differences between art and

science is that art seeks aesthetic responses by using visual or aural

communication (Wilson 2002, p.18-20). Artists try to express emotion and

intuition, and so art can be seen as being evocative and even idiosyncratic.

Science, on the other hand, seeks knowledge and understanding using logic and

reason, therefore science can be seen as explanatory. Alan Lightman, a physicist

and professor of humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,

explained the differences in this way:


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There are questions with answers and questions

without. Scientists work on questions with answers. Although

science is constantly revising itself in response to new ideas and

data, at any moment each scientist is working on what is called

a well-posed problem-that is, a problem of such a kind and

stated with such clarity that it is certain to have a definite

answer. That answer may take ten years to find, or a hundred,

but an answer exists. By contrast, for artists the question is

often more interesting than the answer, and often an answer

doesn’t exist (Lightman, 2005).

According to Lightman, the difference in art and science is that science

involves well-posed problems and a degree of certainty. In other words, scientists

may have methods developed for certainty, while artists may develop methods for

uncertainty. It means that scientists are focusing on ‘how’, while artists prefer to

raise the question ‘why’. For example, in the Human Genome Project, scientists

have determined how the human genome has evolved differently to other species,

but artists have tried to express their thought through more philosophical

approaches, based on themes such as identity, genetic determinism or eugenics.

Sian Ede also agrees that

Scientists, whatever their field of study, are governed by

‘the scientific method’ and in investigating how the world

operates theirs is a shared search for agreement; contemporary

artists work alone, they make things up and encourage

individual or even dissenting responses (Ede 2000, p. 30).

Here Ede points out the difference between scientists and contemporary

artists, who continue to ask the questions without answers. In this sense, artists

can identify and express questions in their art work. For instance, John Newling, a

well known artist and professor of Fine Art at Nottingham Trent University, had

an installation project “Stamping Uncertainty” at the chapter house in Canterbury

Cathedral in 2004. He concentrated on the number of questions which are


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confessions of uncertainty. Andrew Spira offers this interpretation of Newling’s


The questions are confessions of uncertainty but,

perhaps more importantly, they provide a form of relationship

to the unknown, maintaining a circuit of energy and attention

between the doubtful mind and the possibility of understanding

(Newling 2004, Foreword).

Jacques Mandelbrojt also shares the opinion that scientists have to beware

of the mistakes their imagination can induce, because the aim of imagination is to

explain real facts, whilst imagination in art is never wrong because imagination

does not have to confront its image with reality (Mandelbrojt 1994).

1.6 Artists and Scientists’ interpretation

As mentioned above, both creativity and imagination are crucial elements

in art and science. However, two disciplines are also apparently different in terms

of their usage of creativity and imagination. In order to understand the similarity

and difference of the arts and sciences, it is necessary to explain the role of

interpretation in art and science. The distinguished King’s College London

embryologist Professor Lewis Wolpert asserts that

Moreover a work of art is capable of many

interpretations and has moral content. There is but one correct

scientific explanation for any set of observations and reliable

scientific understanding has no moral or ethical content. Art is

a personal creation and contains the personal views of the

artist but whatever the feelings of the scientist these are absent

from the final understanding of a process (Wolpert, 2002).

Wolpert (2006) points out that art and science both involve interpretation,

but in science only one interpretation should be correct whilst there are various

interpretations in art because artworks also include subjective aspects such as

moral issues and emotion.


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Interpretation can explain some of the differences that exist between art

and science. Scientific interpretation is used to analyse data given by observation

in order to logically prove a hypothesis. In art, artists interpret the world about

them in all its physical, social and spiritual aspects which described not just

factual but also aesthetic reality. That is, both science and art, despite the

similarities in their creative sprit, have radically different methods. So

interpretation is a fundamental or basic element that can be used to understand the

differences and similarities in art and science.

For that reason, it is necessary to further consider the understanding of

interpretation. How might interpretation be used to unite the knowledge of art and

science? Can interpretation be the logical channel to link between art and science?

Or can it not, because the gap between art and science originated from differences

in interpretation?

1.7 Comparing Artistic Sculpture and Scientific Models of DNA

Obviously, there are differences between artistic and scientific models.

Scientific models of DNA function as an indexical sign to explain the information

interpreted using analysed data. The interpreted model succinctly represents

hypotheses or theories, and the structure is comprehended by the scientific

community or public to give the same information. In contrast, artistic

representations of DNA can be differently described and interpreted. For instance,

artists do not need to describe the structure as precisely in order to illustrate the

analysed information. Sculpture is an index and a mirror, reflecting artists’ own

experience and social meaning about the structure (Wayne et al, 1996).

Harold Osborne describes his interpretation in a paper:

The basic meaning of interpret is, then, to elucidate or

verbally to unfold or disclose the information encoded in any

communication be it in written or spoken words, gestures,

smoke signals or pulses of light from a laser beam […]

considerable modification is necessary in connection with the


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fine arts. Interpretations of works of art are valued, not so

much for correctness, as for their validity and perspicacity

(Osborne 1986).

However, there still remains the question of whether interpretation can be

used as a bridge between art and science. In their interpretation of the same object,

it is my opinion that there are ‘rooms’ that can be shared by both artists and

scientists. Through collective interpretation processes, both art and science could

learn from each other in terms of inspiration and practical breakthroughs.

Furthermore, a union of the two disciplines might allow the public to engage in

the relationships between art and science.

1.8 Art, Science and the Public: Building the Triangular Bridge

Since DNA’s double helix structure was discovered, there has been a

biological revolution based on DNA technology, which has changed aspects of

our lives in political, medical, ethical and legal territories. As S. Mawer (2003)

wrote, “DNA has now escaped the laboratory and infected the whole world. We

are in the midst of a pandemic.” In this sense, DNA is a regular presence in films,

novels and advertisem*nts (this will be discussed in more detail in chapter 3).

Furthermore, there are numerous visual artists that have been inspired by modern

biology such as molecular and cellular biology. Such artists include Suzanne

Anker, Eduardo Kac and Dennis Ashbaugh.

However, today’s general public cannot grasp the specialised knowledge

of contemporary science and technology. This can lead to general confusion,

denial or dread about scientific developments. To rectify this problem, some

organizations and governments have tried to achieve a balanced and informed

view of scientific and societal dilemmas in order to minimise the gap between

scientific revolution and public understanding.

Tamar Schlick (2005), professor of chemistry at New York University,

suggested that the gap can be filled by collaboration between artists and scientists.

If this is true, this method of collaboration could be a valuable path towards


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understanding between the two cultures. It is important to take a look at the

background and current status of the collaboration between art and science.

Much of the discussion concerning art and science can be traced back to

C.P. Snow’s famous Read lecture at Cambridge on 7th May 1958, “The Two

Cultures and the Scientific Revolution” and his subsequent book based on the

lecture (Snow, 1963). In this book, he wrote :

The clashing point of two subjects, two cultures-of two

galaxies, so far as that goes-ought to produce creative chances.

In the history of mental activity that has been where some of

the break-throughs came. The chances are there now. But they

are there, as it were, in a vacuum, because those in the two

cultures can’t talk to each other. It is bizarre how very little of

twentieth-century science has been assimilated into twentieth-

century art (Snow 1963 p. 16).

Snow stressed the significance of the lack of communication between

sciences and arts, which might be likely caused by intrinsic or methodological

differences of two cultures. He warned that the gulf between two academic

cultures was getting so wide that they could not easily communicate with each

other, to the detriment of public interest. The two cultures he described were those

of the literary intellectuals and the scientists.

Snow (1963) also pointed out that the gap originated from the

specialisation of science compared to the science of previous periods. For this

reason, even scientists also had difficulties in understanding other fields of science.

The more the sciences develop and specialise, the more the public cannot

understand the discoveries of sciences.

What about the methodological differences in art and science? The

scientists are not able to accept the necessity of raising the type of questions that

artists deal with. With regard to this matter, Snow argued that two cultures should

progress with each other. To achieve this, he suggested that students majoring


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science should learn arts and vice versa. Through this method, students can

understand ‘why’, and ‘how’, and consequently, it could fill the gap between two

cultures. In this sense, I believe that Sci-Art can be one of the methods to fill the gap.

On the role of art as a ‘bridge’ for the painful communication gap,

Victoria Vesna, an artist and educator at the University of California in Los

Angeles, shared with Snow the view that artists are in a position to play a critical

role in understanding communication between artists, scientists and the public:

The bridge, in fact, is being triangulated and made

more stable with the work of artists utilizing new technologies,

who are in active dialogue with both sides. Artists using

technology are uniquely positioned in the middle of the

scientific and literary/ philosophical communities and are

allowed poetic license, which gives us the freedom to reinforce

the delicate bridge and indeed contribute to the creation of a

new, mutant third culture (Vesna, 2001).

However, Lewis Wolpert takes a very different view:

Although science has had a strong influence on certain

artists - in the efforts to imitate nature and thus to develop

perspective or in the area of new technologies - art has

contributed virtually nothing to science (Wolpert 2002).

Wolpert argues that art and science are so different and not two cultures as

pronounced by C. P. Snow. Wolpert argues that art is valued on its own terms but

it has nothing to do with science although science had a strong influence on

certain artists. It has been argued that science provides explanations rather than

viewpoints and, compared with art, it requires for its appreciation a much greater

and quite different intellectual effort (Wolpert, 2006). This is not to say that art

has never aided science. Wolpert is marking out a boundary like a membrane

through which “ideas from science spill into art, but the reverse does not happen”

(Webster, 2002).


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Admittedly, we can not say Wolpert’s opinion is totally wrong,

particularly because art has been affected by science, and because many examples

of artworks inspired by science can be found in art history. According to Rhonda

Roland Shearer, in art there are two large scale developments affected by

scientific revolutions: One example is the discovery of perspective in the

Renaissance, and another is the birth of modern abstract art. Especially at the

beginning of 20th century, artists like Marcel Duchamp and Naum Gabo were

familiar with the new geometries which were popularized during the late

nineteenth and early twentieth centuries (Shearer 1996).

Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity was also inspired by the new non-

Euclidean geometries, which describe the geometric properties of alternative

conceptions of space. For example, in hyperbolic and elliptic geometry, parallel

lines diverge or converge respectively, in contrast with Euclidean geometry (see

Figure 1).

Figure 1. Behavior of parallel lines in three types of geometry

Non-Euclidean geometries and in particular elliptic geometry play an

important role in Einstein’s relativity theory which was published by Einstein in

1915. The non-Euclidean geometries were inspirational to artists, especially the

cubist approach presented by Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso in 1907. This

approach was quickly joined in the 1910s by various other movements, including

Constructivism, De Stijl, and Futurism. Their geometric forms began, effectively,

when the solidarity of the old disciplines (Formalism) broke down in the interests

of a new form and a scientific revolution.

But the relationship between art and science is a little more complex than

Wolpert allows. As mentioned earlier, the more science advances, and the greater


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its influence is in our society, the more questions are raised about the influence of

science to our society. The reason for this is that scientists not only discover more

about nature (pure science), but they can also imitate nature (applied science) such

as genetic modification or cloning technology. These new technologies offer

potential benefits such as increased crop yields, but the public have concerns over

the safety of such products, or simply disagree in principle. Therefore, scientists

should not avoid the ethical issues raised by such technologies, and Sci-Art could

help to highlight these issues and open the debate.

Artists have begun to express their opinions of ethical scientific issues

through their artworks. Wolpert (2006) argued that art has had no effect on

science research. However, when it comes to an artistic approach (i.e. not

pursuing the ‘correct’ answers, but raising questions and communicating the

public), is this really true? Wolpert’s assertion is true in the case of pure science,

but he fails to consider the impact of visual art on applied science and

biotechnology and their ethical issues.

Lynn Gamwell, director of the Art Museum at the State University of New

York, pointed out that recently many artists have explored such questions which

have been raised by applied science or biotechnology (Gamwell 2003). I believe

that artists are interested in these subjects because of the social and moral issues

that they raise within our culture. Thus, the work of Sci-Artists, who attempt to

build these bridges between science and the public, can be seen as evidence

against Wolpert’s statement. However, these bridges are not all equally useful in

this respect – they can be positive, negative, experimental or merely superficial.

The most important role for Sci-Artists is that they use artwork to communicate

with the public and enable public discussion of social or moral issues raised by

scientific research.

The arguments I have presented for the role of Sci-Art are not simply a

theoretical view. I am also putting this theory into practice by making artworks

with the intention of building a bridge to scientific understanding. One example of

this work is my art exhibition in BioCity, Nottingham in 2005 (chapter 7 figure

45-46). BioCity is a bioscience incubation centre helping to develop this industry


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in the East Midlands by creating a hub of activity to aid networking and develop

business. Visitors to the exhibition had the opportunity to view these reliefs and

sculptures, which were displayed in the public room and on the central landing of

the BioCity premises. The audience for the exhibition at BioCity includes students

and school children, as well as visiting clients and the staff of the many small

businesses within the organisation.

One of the aims of this artwork was also to improve the overall

attractiveness of the environment at BioCity and to encourage more people to

come into and linger in the building. The feedback from the staff at BioCity was

very encouraging: some said the artworks made them happier to work within the

building; others said the work offered an unexpectedly engaging artistic

experience within the context of a more ‘dry’ scientific environment. The CEO of

BioCity Nottingham Ltd, Glenn Crocker, expressed his opinion of my art

exhibition in an exhibition pamphlet as follows:

Art can lift an otherwise sterile environment; it can

initiate discussion and debate and it can inform and educate:

this can contribute greatly to some of the challenges facing

science and its public perception. It is particularly appropriate

that Seong’s work explores the DNA revolution that gave birth

to the biotechnology industry which is being supported here at

BioCity (Kim 2005, foreword).

Another example of my efforts to bridge the gap between science and the

public was my exhibition of Life is Endless Desire at the Korean Science Festival

in 2005 which was organized by the Korean Science Foundation. The purpose of

the project was to collaborate with the scientist Professor Keith Campbell and

design lecturer Anthony Crabbe, to demonstrate to the public how artworks can

evoke meaningful speculation about science. Keith Campbell is one of the

scientists involved in the creation of Dolly the sheep, which was the first animal

cloned using somatic cell nuclear transfer. My exhibit focused on the structural

model of DNA, with the aim of encouraging debate about genetic engineering

among the general public.


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In an interview with The Science Times, Cambell said that the aim of

attending this exhibition was not for scientific work, but to become involved in art

as a different method of communication and understanding. He mentioned that

art is a suitable method for introducing science, because he believes that it can

offer a more accessible route to scientific understanding (Kim 2005). Also,

Crabbe pointed out the importance of the role of Sci-Art in his foreword for the


We may imagine that however much a parent is told

that the nature of her child has been fixed by genes, her desire

will always be to furnish the experience most likely to change

her child for what she reasons to be best. Art is in some sense

similar. It may not set the agendas for society in the way that

science does, but it persists in behaving as if it could enable its

viewers to amend those agendas (Kim 2005, foreword).

We gave several lectures at the exhibition and at some Korean universities,

and were part of a science TV programme on Korean television. The

documentation of this work provides support for the argument in this thesis for the

value of art as a bridge to understanding. Further details of the people and

processes involved in the exhibition’s creation will be documented later in chapter


1.9 Conclusions

In summary, artists interact with science in three ways. Firstly, artists have

been inspired by scientific images found in journals and text books. Examples

include: Butterfly Landscape, (the great masturbator in surrealist landscape with

DNA), (1957-1958), oil on canvas, Salvador Dali; Designer Gene (1992), stained

DNA images on gel, Dennis Ashbaugh; and Material Powers (1999), glass, steel

& water, Suzanne Anker.

Secondly, artists started to collaborate with scientists to realise their

concepts. For example, Eduardo Kac created transgenic artwork by inserting


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green fluorescent pigment (GFP) from a jellyfish to a rabbit in his work, GFP

Bunny (2000).

Thirdly, artists may collaborate with the public to make artworks on

science subjects and scientific issues, in activities sponsored by institutions such

as the Arts Council or the Wellcome Trust in the U.K. and the Korean Science

Foundation in Korea. These efforts can be considered as a bridge to link science

and the public.

However, the gap between them is still wide because each discipline takes

different paths. So, we inevitably need to fill this gap in knowledge. To address

the problem of this gap between the two disciplines, it is necessary to consider the

collaboration of art and science in education. From an early age, students should

have more opportunities to learn the relationship of the two different disciplines.

In this way, collaborative art work with students about science subjects can

provide another bridge. In short, the more bridges, the better communication.

The next chapter will explore how scientists interpret observed data,

focusing on the discovery of DNA structure and the ways in which they visualised

its structure. It will view the relationship between scientific discovery,

imagination and creativity.


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Chapter 2

Discovery of DNA Structure by Watson and Crick in 1953

2.0 Introduction

As DNA is a central motif in both this thesis and in my artwork, this

chapter will describe the history of how its structure came to be visualised. This is

important because artists need to understand their subjects in order to explore in

deeper ways. According to Martin Kemp, artists who use a scientific subject in

their artworks should have a thorough understanding of scientific knowledge in

order to successfully build a bridge between art and science:

Too many of the increasingly fashionable art-science

initiatives seemed to me to be operating at a surface level, in

which obvious points of contact (e.g. artists using scientific

imagery) were simply narrated or in which objects from art

and science were juxtaposed without really interpenetrating

(Kemp 2000, Preface).

I strongly agree with Kemp’s opinion, and I have made efforts to reach

such a deep understanding of the area of genetics and molecular biology, with a

particular focus on DNA structure. My interest in DNA began when I married Dr.

SeogHyung Kim, who is a genetics scientist, and this gave me an opportunity to

engage with a scientific field. I started making artworks whose form was based on

DNA structure and whose content was concerned with the moral issues around

subjects such as cloning. Even during my MA course in 1996-97, I did not have a

deep understanding of DNA and its associated technologies. However, I was

determined to gain more knowledge about DNA and the discovery of its structure

in order to create artwork for my doctorate. I do believe that if an artist intends to

collaborate with scientists, it is useful to know more about their research and how

scientists approach problems.


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In this following section, I will describe the three-dimensional structure of

DNA, the history of its discovery, and the relationship between scientific

interpretation and visualization in science. It is important to realise that the

scientific interpretation of data is closely related to imagination and creativity, as

was argued in the introduction. Throughout this chapter, we will examine the

interpretations of Watson and Crick and the importance of the role of visualization

in their work.

2.1 DNA structure

On 25 April 1953, in an article, A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid

(Nature 171, 737-738), Watson and Crick published their outline of DNA

(deoxyribonucleic acid) structure. In the same issue were papers by Wilkins and

Franklin showing X-ray data of nucleic acids. The Watson and Crick paper was

very brief, with about only 900 words and a single illustration. This short article

with a purely diagrammatic figure provided the foundation for understanding the

molecular and genetic mechanism of living organisms. Their discovery allowed

for further breakthroughs, including the understanding of protein synthesis,

hereditary disease, the behaviour of virus, and genetic engineering. Furthermore,

the double helix figure has become an icon that is found in art, music, film,

stamps and coins.

The most important feature of DNA is that it forms the shape of a double

helix, as shown in figure 2a. This helical shape is made up of polynucleotide

chains (see Figure b). The long, unbranched polymer chains are composed of four

types of subunits called deoxyribonucleotides containing the bases adenine (A),

cytosine (C), guanine (G) and thymine (T). The backbone of each chain is an

alternating polymer of deoxyribose sugars and phosphates (Watson et al., 2004).


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Figure 2a Structure of DNA drawn by Odile Crick, in Nature, 25 April 1953. Figure 2b Chemical

formula of a chain of deoxyribonucleic acid

Another crucial feature of the DNA structure model is that all of the bases

are on the inside of the double helix with specific pairing: G pairs with C, and A

pairs with T, with each base pair forming the ‘rungs’ and the sugar phosphates on

the outside forming the sides of the DNA ‘ladder’.

A significant feature of the double helix in DNA structure is that the two

base pairs show the same geometry despite their differing composition, meaning

that the space and distance between two sugars is enough not to perturb the

arrangement of the sugars. Lastly, hydrogen bonding is important for the

specificity of base paring and the thermodynamic stability of the helix, which

provide structural stability and maintenance of the double helix structure (Watson

et. al., 2004 p101).

The discovery of the DNA double helix is a milestone because the

structure immediately suggested how genetic information could be precisely

copied and transferred from each cell to its progeny.


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2.2 History of the Visualization of DNA Structure Before 1953

I will begin this section by describing the chemical structure figures and

diagram in DNA before 1953. Before I discuss the interpretation of the DNA

double helix structure by X-ray diffraction photography, I will introduce the

development of structural molecular biology. When a biochemist or a structural

biologist draws the chemical structure of a substance on paper, the structure

actually exists in three dimensions but is presented in two-dimension. The gap

between actual property and presentation on paper in two-dimension is needed to

fill up with three-dimensional figures.

To do this, a biochemist can learn about two important ways; one is to

apply a physical tool from which scientists can deduce the relative spatial

positions of the atoms in the DNA molecule. Of them, the X-ray diffraction is the

most powerful technique. The other is model building based on parameters by

calculation and observation using biochemical and physical tools such as titration

and X-ray diffraction.

Figure 2 First X-ray diffraction photograph of a stretched dried film of DNA, published by

Astbury and Bell (from Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology 6:112, 1938).

Figure 2 (Astbury and Bell 1938) shows a diagrammatic representation of

DNA structure proposed by Astbury and Bell derived from X-ray studies in 1938.

It was the first study of DNA based on X-ray diffraction photography. Astbury


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and Bell deduced a general structure of nucleotides from their photographs, and

drawings like Figure 3 simply represent their conception of a pile of planar


Figure 3 Structures of DNA proposed by Astbury and Bell; from Cold Spring Harbour symposia on Quantitative Biology 6, 114 (1938).

Furberg suggested two models of DNA based on nucleotides in the

standard configuration. As can be seen in Figure 3, the planes of the purines and

pyrimidines are perpendicular to the plane of the paper, packing together

nucleotides of the standard configuration (but as noted above, the diagram is not

entirely accurate because it only shows a single helix). We can image and draw

the three dimensional single-stranded structure of DNA on paper (Figure 4);

location of hydrogen, carbon, oxygen, and phosphorus (Furberg 1949).


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Figure 4 Two models of DNA based on nucleotides in the “standard configuration”. The planes of the purines and pyrimidines are perpendicular to the plane of the paper (Drawing by S. Furberg from “ A century of DNA”).

Discovery of X-ray diffraction by crystals was revolutionary in

understanding the structure of molecules. In 1920, there was one of the

breakthrough discoveries in this field. R.O. Herzog and his assistant obtained the

X-ray diffraction pattern of a natural fibre. The pattern with spots indicating a

degree of regular structure along the axis of the fibre was solved by Michael

Polanyi. He introduced several concepts that were to remain a basis for

interpretation in this field (Portugal and Cohen 1977, p. 207, p. 235).

The elucidation of DNA structure via the nucleotide structure depends on

more detailed X-ray diffraction photographs. Maurice Wilkins and Rosalind

Franklin at King’s College, London contributed to this field. Wilkins wanted

highly polymeric DNA to study the orientation of the base. To obtain the sample

materials, he observed that fibre had been produced unwittingly and obtained a

thin and almost invisible fibre of DNA like a filament of spider’s web by touching

the DNA gel with a glass rod and removing the rod. He thought that the fibres

might be excellent objects to study by X-ray diffraction because the molecules in

the fibres were regularly arranged. He took the sample to Raymond Gosling who

used it to obtain a very encouraging diffraction photograph (Figure 5a).


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Figure 5 X-ray diffraction pattern of the A form of DNA. a the first X-ray diffraction photograph

with R. Golsling. 5b A good photograph with H. R. Wilson. (

In contrast to the dried film of DNA employed by Astbury, the moist

fibres are the key to elucidating the DNA structure. When the sample material

with the high humidity gave a beautifully clear and detailed diffraction pattern

termed crystalline (Figure 5b). In 1951, Wilkins theorised that DNA had helical

characteristics from the X-ray diffraction pattern photograph. The theory was

developed to explain the pattern in terms of Bessel functions.

The importance of this theory was to predict the absence and presence of

certain reflections which appeared as spots in the X-ray photograph, because the

precise location and intensity of these spots depended on the physical parameters

of the helix such as pitch and diameter. As can be seen in Figure 6, the diffraction

pattern of spots shows the presence of helix, and the molecular dimension of DNA

could be deduced from the cross pattern (Portugal and Cohen J. S 1977, p. 207,

Dickerson 1964).


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Figure 6 Diffraction pattern due to a helix, P; pitch, r; radius, beta; pitch angle, R and Z;

coordinate axes (Dickerson R. 1964)

Franklin had a correct view of the nature of DNA structure. She realised

that B form was helical from the careful measurements of the density of the

sample and water content (Franklin and Gosling 1953). In 1951 people favoured

three chains rather than two chains per DNA molecule. However, she could not

represent her view because she wanted to show ample and clear evidence to

support the interpretation of her results.

Figure 7 Photograph by X-ray diffraction, B form of DNA (R. E. Franklin and R. G. Gosling,



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2.3 History of the Visualization of DNA Structure After 1953

Watson and Crick performed no experiments themselves. Instead their

tactic was to summarise other groups’ data known by February 1952 to construct

their model of DNA structure in 1953. X-ray diffraction photographs were very

impressive to them. In this X-ray diffraction pattern, they were able to calculate

the actual distance between the horizontal bars. They also calculated the helix’s

pitch from the angle seen in Figure 8.

Figure 9 Interpretation of X-ray diffraction photographs.

(; html).


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Figure 8 (continued) Interpretation of X-ray diffraction photographs.

(; html).

At the same time, Linus Pauling, who solved the alpha-helix structure in

protein, published a paper on the structure for DNA. He suggested a triple helix

model (Figure 9) with the phosphates near the fibre axis and, and the bases on the

outside (Pauling and Corey 1953).

Figure 9 The triple helix mode proposed by L. Pauling

Watson and Crick indicated that this model could be right because the

negative charges of the oxygen atom in each phosphate group are facing toward

the middle, and stacked on top of each other. However these charges would repel

one another, making it impossible for the molecule to hold together and some of

the van der Waals distance appear to be too small (Watson J.D., and Crick F.H.C.,


A crucial piece of information came from the Nottingham team of the

British physical chemist, John M Gulland, another very important contributor. In

1947 Gulland and his co-workers published an important contribution suggesting


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that hydrogen bonds exist between two pairs of bases in native DNA molecules

(Gulland et. al. 1947).

Watson reread their papers and postulated that nucleotides could pair and

form weak bonds, hydrogen bonds which formed when nitrogen or oxygen shares

a hydrogen atom (Watson 1968 p.143). However, Watson could not determine the

tautomeric forms of nucleotide, enol or keto form (Figure 10). This was solved by

the American crystallographer Jerry Donohue. He pointed out Watson had played

with the wrong structure of guanine and thymine and strongly suggested the keto

alternative again (Watson 1968 p.152).

Figure 10 Tautomeric form of nucleotide.

With Donohue’s correction, Watson drew the base structures on cardboard,

cut them out and moved them around in pairs to see how they might fit together.

He suspected that DNA had two chains and he wanted to see if the interactions

between the bases might hold the structure together, like rungs in a ladder. When

he played with the cardboard cutouts, it became immediately apparent that the

pieces fitted together as he expected, and from this, he deduced that the

interactions between the bases would involve hydrogen bonds.

Watson matched specific base pairs as below (Figure 11) and compared

the width of different hydrogen-bonded pairs. This measurement is critical

because each different pair (A-T or G-C) must combine to give the same distance

in order to maintain an even structure which would not bulge in and out. Finally,

he concluded that guanine shares three hydrogen bonds with cytosine, and adenine

makes two hydrogen bonds with thymine (see Figure 11).


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Figure 11 Hydrogen bonds (indicated by dotted lines) between purine bases (C and T on the left side of the pairs) and pyrimidine bases (G and A on the right of each pair) which form base pairs

of C-G and A-T.

The base paring A-T and G-C was the key to construct DNA’s double

helix, and it solved one of the major problems facing the scientists who were

trying to deduce its structure. After publishing their work, Crick and Watson built

a three-dimensional model of DNA using brass metal shapes specified by their

measurements of the base pairs (Figure 12), and the 3D model validated the

structure that they had proposed in their paper, by allowing other scientists to

visualise the arrangement.

Figure 12 A stacking model of DNA and Watson and Crick’s brass plate model of DNA


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2.4 Conclusions - Interpretation and Visualisation in Science

It is very interesting to note that scientists make much more use of

diagrams, pictures and models in communicating their ideas than might be

expected. In particular, I have been fascinated by the visualisations of DNA

structure, and this has been an inspirational motif in my artwork.

There is a difference in ways of interpreting in art and science. One

difference is that art allows for many different interpretations which are treated as

equally valid, but science does not allow for the same degree of variety in

interpretation, and only some conclusions are given validity. Obviously,

differences between artistic and scientific interpretation leads to different styles of

visualization. Scientific visualization of the DNA structure functions as an

indexical sign to explain the information, and is interpreted using analysed data.

The interpreted model of DNA structure concisely represents hypotheses or

theories, and the structure is comprehended by the scientific community. In

contrast, artistic visualisations of DNA perform different functions: artists do not

need to describe the structure as precisely as scientists might need to, because the

audience has different requirements or expectations.

Richard Bright asserts that visualization plays an important role in society:

Humans are highly visual animals and we often think in

pictures. From cave paintings to the computer, the visual

image has assisted the human race in describing, classifying,

ordering, analysing and ultimately reaching a greater

understanding of world. Images trigger an internal response,

where the viewer transforms the static image into an

intellectual or an emotional experience. (Bright In: Ede 2000,


According to Bright, a scientific visualization requires some level of

knowledge in the audience to understand its interpretation. In general, the

difficulty of understanding scientific knowledge is one of the reasons for the gap

between science and the public. Therefore, some scientists have tried to make


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their visualizations of their theories or discoveries understandable to the public, in

order to provide the facts about their research.

Arthur Miller pointed out that visual imagery in science is not only for

communication, but it also has a value in scientific thinking and plays causal role

in scientific creativity (Miller 2000, p.320 - 321). Professor Richard Woodfield

shares Miller’s view that visual thinking is a central characteristic of science, and

that scientific discoveries frequently involve re-envisioning something in a new

visual format (Kim 2004, Foreword).

As we have seen in the work of Watson and Crick earlier in the chapter,

visual imagery contributed to many important steps in the discovery of DNA

structure. These include X-ray diffraction photographs by Franklin, cut-out

cardboard base paring by Watson, and metal models of DNA structure by Watson

and Crick. Further developments in technology after 1953 have allowed scientists

to visualize its structure in a variety of other ways.

Rhonda Shearer pointed out that the new scanning tunnelling microscope

(STM) reveals a very different picture in which DNA structure is highly irregular

and lumpy in reality. In comparison with the drawing by Odile Crick (Watson et.

at. 1953), which has become a standard textbook idealization of DNA, STM

images of DNA structure show the older visualisation to be an ‘ideal’ form

(Shearer 1996). But the important thing about such ideal and diagrammatic forms

is that they are easier to understand. Only when we understand at this kind of level

can we appreciate the more ‘realistic’ forms revealed by more accurate techniques.

Below, we present a selection of visualisations of DNA structure by scientists

(Figure 13):


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Figure 13 Different visualizations of DNA structure

Since the discovery of DNA structure, the gene has become one of the

most popular scientific terms used both by scientists and the public, and like

DNA’s double helix, it has achieved the status of a cultural icon. In the following

chapter, I will examine DNA as an iconic structure, and the factors that give it this

status. I will analyze the role of the relationship between images and society,

particularly in the interactions between art and science.


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Chapter 3

DNA as Cultural Icon

3.0 Introduction

We live in a highly visual world. Visual images are found all around us, in

cinema, books, television and the internet. As we say, ‘seeing is believing’, and ‘a

picture is worth a thousand words’; in other words, we cannot overestimate the

power of the picture. I would like to describe the power of images, how they are

important at this moment, and the relationship between images and society, by

using the example of interactions between art and science.

It is easy to see that the double helix structure of DNA is everywhere:

stamps, coins, films, sculptures and even music. Why is the structure so popular

as an icon at this moment? Denna Jones, curator of the TwoTen Gallery and

contemporary initiative at the Wellcome Trust, says it is because the double helix

structure shows simplicity, symmetry and serendipity (Jones, 2003). However,

this is not enough to explain why DNA is a cultural icon and such a powerful

image in popular culture. This chapter explores various aspects of this question.

3.1 DNA in Science

In contemporary art, artists began depicting the double helix as a cultural

icon, for example, spiralling DNA molecules are shown in Salvador Dali’s

paintings from the late 1950s, such as Butterfly Landscape (1957-8). Dali painted

it because he believed that it was an important structure with significance for the

future. More recently, some artists expressed their concern about the issues

surrounding the science of DNA, such as cloning and transgenics, in which

animals and plants are mutated into what some people regard as ‘monsters’

(Gamwell 2003). As Gamwell pointed out (2003), the theme of artworks inspired

by DNA or genetics expressed a highly complex, ever-changing organic process

rather than the pure science of DNA.


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It is interesting that the double helix inspired artists before the current

revolution in biology. Scientific activity in this area began to increase

dramatically from 1996, when research including Dolly the sheep and the human

genome project began. The graphs below illustrate the frequency of citations of

Watson and Crick’s paper. The Science citation index (SCI) is used as an

indication of how many times particular published articles are cited in scientific

journals by other researchers (Figure 14).

Figure 14 Numbers of citations of Watson & Crick’s paper and of DNA. DNA’s Double Helix: 50

years of discoveries and mysteries an exhibit of scientific achievement;


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In this chapter, I would like to examine why the double helix has become a

cultural icon. To answer this question, it is necessary to define what an icon is.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, an icon is:

a. An image, figure, or representation; a portrait; a picture, ‘cut’, or

illustration in a book; esp. applied to the ‘figures’ of animals, plants, etc. in books

of Natural History.

b. An image in the solid; a monumental figure; a statue.

The word ‘icon’ is derived from the Greek, eikon, meaning an image,

picture, sign or likeness that stands for an object by signifying or representing.

Thus, we can describe a cultural icon as an object or person which is distinctive to,

or particularly representative of, a specific culture. In this sense, I examined the

use of DNA in Google and Amazon. On 29th March 2007, a Google search for

DNA listed about 158,000,000 pages, whilst a search on Amazon shows 71,298

books and even 78 toys and games. This result suggests that DNA or gene is

ubiquitous and more closely related to our life than any other scientific


3.2 DNA as cultural icon in Art

As described in chapter 2, DNA is a biological molecule which transmits

the information needed to maintain life. However, the structure of DNA or gene

has also become a cultural icon. The visualisation of the double helix was a

significant step because it allowed us to see the structure of an important part of

what makes us human. Because of science’s aim of objectivity, the DNA model

represents a supposed truth, but it must be borne in mind that scientific truths are

often only temporary: old paradigms are replaced as new facts and ideas come

into being. Previously in this chapter, I mentioned two reasons (simplicity and

beauty) for the importance of DNA as a cultural icon. In addition, the

visualisation of DNA provides a convenient point from which we can explore the

essence of identity and the forces that shape human nature.

There are various artworks that use visualisations of chromosomes,

molecules, DNA sequences, and the double helix as metaphors. Examples include


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Larry Miller’s Genetic Code Certificate (1993), Kevin Clarke’s portrait of James

D. Watson (1998-9), and Eduardo Kac’s Genesis (1999). For artists, DNA or

genetics is used as a way to represent their individuality, the inner essence of a

person, the truth behind appearance, the nature of authentic self, and their fears of

a technology that may be out of control in the future (Nelkin, 1996). For example,

Eduardo Kac says:

‘Genesis’ is transgenic artwork that explores the

intricate relationship between biology, belief systems,

information technology, dialogical interaction, ethics and the

Internet (Travis 2000).

3.3 Genetics in popular culture

In the 20th century, gene is a more popular scientific term than any other,

and the images or visual metaphors of the double helix achieve the status of

cultural icons. Beyond the role of the gene in heredity as genetic material, the

pictorial forms of genes such as a double helix and the twenty-three pairs of

chromosomes in humans have represented “life itself” or the “secret of life”.

Biotechnology based on the science of DNA can be easily found in novels,

films and TV programs. Most of them depict warnings of the advent of fictional

chimeras (e.g. Frankenstein’s monster), and the potential harm of genetic

engineering or cloning. The representation of genes, genetics or biotechnology in

films or novels depicts them as essential factors that determine everything, even

human destiny. As noted above, DNA has become synonymous with genes,

genetics, or genetic engineering in popular culture, has gained iconic significance,

and has thus become a metaphor for the very essence of a human being. Therefore,

the representations of DNA have different symbolic values and are represented in

different ways which are independent of its biological meaning. The

representation of DNA in films is summarised in Table 1 below:


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Table 1 Films with reference to DNA and/or genetics.

Title Year Remark GATTACA 1997 Explores a design-conscious world in which

"designer" babies are the norm and only the genetically well-endowed get to the top.

Multiplicity 1996 Michael Keaton is a working man who clones himself again and again in order to have time to fulfil all his work and personal responsibilities.

The Island of Dr. Moreau

1996 This film was adapted from the 1896 H.G. Wells story of an isolated scientist and his genetically altered beast-people.

Godsend 1993 After their young son is killed in a freak accident, a couple approach a scientist (Robert De Niro) about bringing him back to life through an experimental (and illegal) cloning process.

Jurassic Park 1997 Michael Crichton's story about an amusem*nt park featuring full-sized, living dinosaurs reconstructed from petrified DNA.

Swamp Thing 1982 A well-meaning researcher wants to combine plant and animal genes in order to give plants "aggressive" qualities that will help him feed the world.

The Island 2005 Human cloning for transplantation to replace their contaminated organ.

Minority Report 2002 A trio of genetically modified "pre-cogs" warn of murders before they happen. Based on a novelette by Phillip K. Dick.

Equilibrium 2002 In the monochromatic and sedated society, artifacts from the old world are destroyed and the population is required to take sedatives by Kurt Wimmer.

She Devil 1951 A scientist tries to mix the genes of humans and insects to cure disease.

Blade Runner 1982 Human clones are used for slave labour. Based on the book Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Phillip K. Dick.

Total Recall 1990 Theme of cloning. Based on a novelette by Dick.

The number of references to DNA in popular culture proves that DNA

structure has become a symbol of science and technology, particularly

biotechnology. Richard Dawkins, the biologist and evolutionary theorist, in his

book Selfish Gene, created the new concept of the ‘meme’:


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The new soup is the soup of human culture. We need a

name for the new replicator, a noun which conveys the idea of

a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation. ‘Mimeme’

comes from a suitable Greek root, but I want a monosyllable

that sounds a bit like ‘gene’. I hope my classicist friends will

forgive me if I abbreviate mimeme to meme... (Dawkins 1989 p.


Dawkins stressed that not only genes are transferred, but also that our

ideas transfer and contribute to cultural evolution in our society. In this sense, in

my view, the concept that DNA can shape our future can also be called a meme.

Dawkins pointed out that there are many functions of DNA, such as transcription,

mutation, repair, replication and recombination. The meme, the unit of

information or cultural transmission, also has many functions in our society, as

does DNA in a living cell. With the development of technology, the rate of

information movement is increasing in our culture and our society, so memes are

transferred increasingly quickly also.

Images of DNA, genes, and genetics are found in stamps (Figure 15). In

fact, most countries issuing these kinds of things intend to commemorate

scientists or the scientific achievements. Biotechnology or scientific discoveries

on stamps can be found across the world, and they provide an opportunity to

participate in the enquiries of the biosciences and culture, and the stamp serves to

educate people to be aware of these issues.

Figure 15 Stamps engraved by Martin Mörck after originals by Göran Österlund.

These ‘Nobel Stamps’ of 1989 by Sweden Postal Stamps constitute an

artistic, cultural and scientific heritage of humanity. The stamps represented

discoveries related to DNA: fruit flies that are used in experiments by Thomas H.


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Morgan; the double helix of James Watson and Francis Crick; DNA digested by

restriction enzymes in experiments by Werner et al; and lastly the discovery by

Barbara McClintock of how genes sometimes change places, also known as

‘jumping genes’.

Moreover, the double helix is shown in toys, games and commercial

advertisem*nts. The shape of DNA can be found even in children’s playground

equipment, souvenirs such as T-shirts, bracelets and coffee mugs.

3.4 ‘Iconic DNA’ and genetic determinism

The science of genetics is increasingly becoming part of our lives. Various

medical diagnostic tests or therapies use methods based on DNA technology. This

technology is also used in the preservation of foods, to make crops resistant to

harmful insects, and in forensic science in genetic fingerprinting. These advances

lead people to be aware of the enormous potential of biotechnology and social

issues related to it. And also the debates about the issue are mostly based on a

paradigm of reductionism that postulates that all attributes, characters, and forms

of lives are determined by genes. Thus, the views about bioscience and

biotechnology challenge our fundamental concepts about life, nature, nurture,

humanity and society.

In this section, I would like to discuss the social responses to genetics. No

discussion of genetics and society would be complete without mentioning

eugenics, the application of genetic knowledge to reduce the number of the

population who carry defective genetic traits. In the view of genetic determinists,

genetic tests and gene therapy can reduce all of the suffering caused by genetic

disorders. In fact, the potential to cure disease increased after the completion of

the Human Genome Project (HGP) and advanced cloning technology.

Historically, the term "eugenics" (literally, "good genes") was coined in

1883 by Francis Galton to describe selective breeding based on genetic merit.

After Galton, successors with similar views appropriated Darwin’s theory of

natural selection to support their ideas: Herbert Spencer, who was an English


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philosopher and political theorist in 19th century, described it as “survival of the

fittest”. The ideas of eugenics spread to America in the1900’s and passed back to

Europe in 1930’s. During this time, sterilization law was passed in Hitler’s

Germany, and those who were genetically inferior with disease and even unwed

mothers, prostitutes, petty criminals, alcoholics, hom*osexuals, and the mentally ill

had to undergo sterilization. In addition, limits on immigration from Eastern and

Southern Europe were applied in America on eugenic grounds. In practice, the

methods of genetic testing, gene therapy, genetic engineering and other DNA-

combined technologies are used. Today these kinds of medical applications based

on genetics are largely acceptable and offer health benefits to individuals.

Because of the potential horrors associated with genetics, people are still

concerned about gene science, despite the apparent good intentions of the

scientists, and the potential benefits of gene technology. These concerns can be

seen in popular culture such as films and novels, for example. The film “Gattaca”

depicts a future society in which genetically-enhanced babies can be produced by

parents who can afford it, and warns us of a society discriminated by genes and

wealth. This fiction could actually be realized in the near future through the

successful cloning of mammals using somatic nuclear transfer. Dolly the sheep,

the first cloned mammal, is not only a scientific milestone but also raises social,

ethnical, and economic issues. The public response to cloning reflects the

futuristic fantasies and Frankenstein fears; both responses always come with new

scientific discoveries, and especially with biotechnology (Nelkin and Lindee,


Modern genetics attempts to avoid the negative associations with eugenics,

as carried out in Nazi Germany for example, and instead tries to promote more

creative uses for this technology. Nelkin and Lindee called this approach “genetic

essentialism” in their book, The DNA Mystique: The Gene as a Cultural Icon.

(Nelkin and Lindee 1995, p. 149). They pointed out those scientists who involved

with genetics, for example James Watson claims about powers of DNA to

suggestions for eugenic and genetic determination.


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3.5 Conclusions - The Power of DNA in Culture

In The DNA Mystique, Nelkin and Lindee analysed representations of

DNA in popular culture, and ultimately regard DNA as a cultural icon. As they

explain, DNA has become a metaphor to represent where we are from, who we

are now, and who we will be. It is a key to understanding identity and

individuality through DNA-sequencing. Beyond the biological characteristics of

DNA, it can be further applied to explain social differences and the relationship

between human beings and their culture. The power of DNA as an explanatory

concept has led to widespread beliefs such as genetic determinism and

essentialism. These powerful beliefs have contributed to the status of DNA as a

cultural icon. After the birth of Dolly the sheep, the icon of DNA has gone from

the scientific domain and touched the religious domain: geneticists have been

accused of “playing God”, which means that they create and control organisms

through scientific achievement in ways which were previously explained by

religious beliefs.

Let us go back to the question of why DNA has become a cultural icon

today. Firstly, we can think of the aesthetic viewpoints. The double helix is very

simple and beautiful to depict; we see its spiral structure frequently in our culture,

for instance, in pillars in architecture. Secondly, it is a key to open a door, a so-

called “secret of life”. To understand what is life is our ceaseless desire as human

beings. It leads us to question and determine the origin of all living organisms

including humans, and to explain identity or individuality in a way that does not

simply reflect biological information but also our status in society in the past,

present, and future.

As science and technology are both regarded as important factors that

shape our culture, they have the power to influence as religion once did in the

middle-ages. Taking account of the economic aspects of the globalized and

capitalist world, the importance of DNA can not be overlooked; it can and has

been applied to agriculture, bio-industry and medicine. Thus we can see that DNA

is combined with these various factors to become an icon in our culture.


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So-called ‘genetic determinists’ or essentialists believe that nurture such as

social environment is less important than our genetic nature. I believe that nature

and nurture are equally important to our cultural identity, and that these two

elements that shape our identities are like the two backbones of DNA’s double

helix. So, with this visual metaphor, Sci-Art is similar to the base-pair connections

between the two strands. In this way, Sci-Art bridges the gap between nature and

nurture, between scientific knowledge and artistic culture.

The next chapter will examine the visualization of DNA by scientists, and

how drawing reflects their research interests. I will discuss how the visualisation

can facilitate the effective communication of information by improving ways of

understanding various things.


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Chapter 4

Visualisation of DNA by scientists

4.0 Introduction

Fifty years ago, Watson and Crick revealed the structure of DNA. Now, in

the century of the genome, the double helix structure of DNA has become an art

and design icon. If one searches the internet, there are numerous products such as

coins, stamps, and neckties, as well as sculptures, paintings and pictures of DNA’s

double-helix shape.

The previous chapter examined why the double helix is so popular and has

become an icon in this century. The reason is that the structure has simple

symmetrical characteristics that are making it attractive to people. It is also that it

represents a symbol of what we are as opposed to why we are. For example, the

simplicity of structures like spiral forms are used as metaphors and are easily

depicted. This type of icon or image of DNA is produced by a process of

information visualisation.

Visualisation can facilitate the effective communication of information by

improving ways of understanding various things. Given these functions of

visualisation, it appears likely to us that there is little difference between scientific

visualisation and art’s visualisation. Unfortunately, relatively little research has

been carried out on scientific visualisation and how it is related to scientists’

research. Therefore, we need to distinguish scientific visualisation from other

types of information visualisation.

Before delving into my analysis of scientific visualisation and its processes,

it is worth taking a quick look at the definitions of scientific visualisation and

information visualisation. Scientific and information visualisation can be

classified according to the data they depend on. Scientific visualisation is based

on physical and/or chemical data, like atoms, molecules, DNA or other, whilst

information visualisation is based on abstract data (Card et al, 1999).


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This chapter will look at some examples of scientific visualisation to

elucidate how this type of visualisation is different from that of the artist. To

celebrate the discovery of DNA structure in 1953, there was a conference at Cold

Harbour Spring Laboratory (CSHL) in the USA, The Biology of DNA, 28

February 2003, where 40 of the most prominent biologists in the world were

asked by Peter Sherwood to draw their concept of what DNA means to them.

Especially interesting from my point of view is that their drawings are related to

their research work.

It may be useful to start by examining separately how scientists visualise

their work, what informs the illustrations of the researchers themselves, and what

are the problems in depicting their results. We can divide the process of

visualisation into two categories: direct visual observation and indirect

observation. Direct observation includes information gathered with the eye, e.g.

through a microscope; indirect observation is the collection of data using non-

visual-based technology, e.g. gene sequencing and X-ray crystallography, as used

in the scientific studies of DNA.

4.1 Direct Observation

Let us examine in the first instance a drawing by Dr. Tatusya Hirano of

chromosome structure from the CSHL conference (Figure 16).

Figure 16 Dr.T Hirano’s concept of DNA. He draws chromosome to express his conception of DNA. (


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Why did Dr. Hirano draw the DNA like this, and which of his experiences

impacted on the drawing? If we look at some of Dr Hirano’s research, we find

visualisations of chromosomes as seen in Figure 17 (Ono et al 2003). The images

are made using a combination of microscopy, photography and fluorescent

technology. Figure 17 gives one clue as to why he draws the concept of DNA like

the butterfly form seen in Figure 16. Something similar may be observed in

connection with his research interest in understanding the molecular mechanisms

responsible for chromosome assembly and segregation during mitosis: the

drawing is symbolically relevant to his research.

Figure 17 Differential Localization of Condensin I and Condensin II on HeLa Chromosomes. Takao Ono, Cell 115(1):109-121 (2003). Dr. T Hirano and his colleagues present mitotic

chromosome architecture in vertebrate cells using immunofluorescence microscope.

With regard to his research work and images, another example is shown

below (Figure 18).


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Figure 18 Hypothetical Models for the Contribution of Condensin to Chromosome Organization. Jason R. Swelldow and Tastsuya Hirano, the making of the mitotic chromosome modern insight

into classical questions, Cell 11(3) 557-569 (2003).

This figure also shows how this type of visualisation can help scientists to

understand their results: simplified figures like Figure 18 are frequently found in

review papers (Swelldow and Hirano 2003). That is, the figures promote

understanding of the research results and facilitate communication between


Experimental results can be interpreted in various ways. The strongest

evidence is direct-pictures using microscopes, but unfortunately, not all

experimental results can be seen through a microscope. Scientists have to interpret

the data, explain what they have done, and what the results mean. In the following

section, I will develop a view based on visualisation and interpretation of data

obtained by indirect observation methods that have been used to help discover the

character of molecules.

4.2 Indirect Observation

Dr. Tania Baker who researched DNA transposition at the Massachusetts

Institute of Technology drew the concept of DNA from the CSHL conference

(Figure 19). It is difficult to imagine her concept of DNA (Figure 19) from the

experimental results in Figure 20 but there is a connection between Figure 19 and

Figure 21 (Burton and Baker 2003).


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Figure 19 A concept of DNA by Dr. Tania Baker who research DNA transposition at the

Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Figure 20 Scheme of the methods used to analyse the interaction DNA and protein (transposon), and results by gel eletrophoresis assay and DNA-ase fingerprinting assay. These figures show which data is used to interpret and understand molecular interaction. Brianna M. Burton and Tania A. Baker, Mu transposome architecture ensures that unfolding by ClpX or proteolysis by ClpXP remodels but does not destroy the complex, Chemistry and Biology 10(5): 453-472(2003).


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Figure 21 Model for transposome remodelling tow products result from ClpX-mediated, Brianna M. Burton and Tania A. Baker, Chemistry and Biology 10(5): 453-472(2003).

Figure 21 shows diagrams built on results of many experiments, including

techniques listed in Figure 22. The drawing can be seen as very a useful tool for

scientists to understand molecular mechanisms. This kind of visualisation, based

on indirect observation, is different from images based on direct observation,

because the former requires interpretation in ways that the latter does not.

As mentioned previously, the relevance of the connection between

research interests and drawings of DNA concepts is also found in Dr Tania A.

Baker’s case. Her research is focused on understanding the mechanism and

regulation of two classes of marcromolecular machine: the Clp/Hsp100 family of

protein unfolding enzyme and the proteins that catalyse DNA transposition. That

is why she drew the indeterminate shape (actually representing a protein) between

the two helices. I think she might have wanted to visualise the protein

transposome that interacts with DNA in her drawing, because that was her

concept of DNA.

4.3 Information in visualisation

In this section I draw attention to scientific discovery as an important

source of information about visualisation. One purpose of scientists’ visualization

is to generate, communicate and disseminate new knowledge through publication.

They show diagrams and figures in order for others to understand their


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accomplishments more easily. Visualisation is an integral part of the way in which

scientists express their conceptual images of their research. Images can be

simplified and shown in papers, but the processing of images is not simple; it

involves very sophisticated mental manipulation. Diagrams, figures and sketches

are crucial aids used to interpret and understand scientific research, which could

also make them popular as icons in wider society. The importance of visualisation

is related to the way it transmits information, and this depends on how the

experimental results are developed and how their visualisation is organised and

matched with their verbal representation.

Scientific visualisation is typically taken as depictions of an actual or

possible state of nature. In these terms, scientists share nature with artists, even

though they interpret the same things differently. How do scientists respond to

features that have never been seen before? And how do they want to describe

these things? I would like to discuss the response and processing of scientific

visualisation, through which we can deduce or interpret their intentions. Let us

consider examples from laboratory notebooks and letters of scientists who

contributed to the discovery of DNA structure.

Figure 22aDrawing of double helix by Crick from /SC/B/B/W/B/. 22b Correspondence of James Watson to Max Delbruck (March 12, 1953) from watson03-pg02-xl.htm

As can be seen in Figure 22a above, the drawing by Crick is very similar

to the diagram in the famous paper published in Nature. Before describing the


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process of scientific visualisation, I will briefly discuss how Watson and Crick

drew the double helix. They conducted no DNA experiments of their own, instead

they interpreted the previous experimental results of others, and unified these

disparate findings into a coherent theory, finally producing a diagram of a double

helix. They had different backgrounds that are complementary: Crick studied

physics and X-ray crystallography whilst Watson studied genetics.

Returning to how scientific visualisation works. At first Crick and Watson

described the DNA molecule directly with words. To do this, they needed to

observe the features of DNA. Watson was focusing on the suggestiveness of X-

ray diffraction patterns for a structural model of the DNA molecule. It contrasts to

the approach of Rosalind Franklin and Maurice Wilkins who analysed crystal

structures that are used for the phase effects of the scattering of X-rays (Figure

23a). Franklin and Wilkins postulated a helix structure, but it is not easy to

construct a logical ordered helix structure. In order to determine the structure, they

used a table that showed that the amount of DNA and its four types of base varied

widely from species to species, but that the ratios of A:T and C:G were

approximately 1:1.

Figure 23a Rosalind Franklin’s X-ray diffraction photo of structure B from /fran klin-typeBphoto.html. 23b Original demonstration DNA structure model by Watson and Crick from res/ dna-model.html

However, Watson drew the binding of A and T, and G and C as shown in

Figure 22b to make a constant distance between them. Finally he could determine

the double helix DNA structure and then Crick tried to draw the structure based

on their findings; he depicted the double helix. Scientists want to identify and


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create some important features and represent scientific facts successfully. The

structure in Figure 23b is the original demonstration model of DNA in 3D

produced by Watson and Crick.

Figure 24a Left-handed Z DNA by Alex Rich. 25b right-handed B DNA by Watson from

It is important to look at how visualisation may reflect, and even limit

research and thinking. Figure 24 shows clearly the link between scientific

visualisation and research interest by scientists, even though these drawings were

not intended to provide scientific information. Alex Rich drew a left-handed

double helix (Figure 24a) because he discovered left-handed DNA, whilst Watson

depicted a right-handed double helix, using arrows that show clearly the direction

(Figure 24b).


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Figure 25 Drawing of DNA structure by Watson from

/archives/archives/Watson%20 Arc hives/dnadrawing.htm

Looking at another drawing by Watson (Figure 25), he described the

structure with red dots and words that give pieces of information about how the

double helix is built up. Two red dots indicate a hydrogen bond between A and T,

whilst three red dots represent a bond between G and C. This is a typical drawing

from which we can understand that scientists intend to carry information and

communicate with other people.

We have looked at examples of visualisation from several different

sources. The examples highlight important points about scientific visualisation.

Firstly, all visual representation expresses a particular method of interest of the

creator. Secondly, it should be clear that the images and results of interpretation

are based on implicit knowledge used by scientists.


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As I mentioned previously, scientists depict their observation directly

using instruments such as microscopes or indirectly using verbal communication

based on results such as statistics tables or chemical and physical formulas.

Figure 26a Note on the possible configuration of bases in DNA structure by Crick

( 27b Note on the structure of DNA by Crick (

Figure 26 shows an interpretation of raw data based on scientific

knowledge by Crick. At first he drew the bases in the linear form and used

chemical configuration and bonds between molecules. Then he described DNA

structure with a very simple diagram.


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The processing from Crick’s idea to diagram; the type of processing can

be called 2-Dimensional patterning through interpretation. Card, in his book

Information visualisation using vision to think (1999), categorised information

visualisation into four stages. The first stage is 1-Dimensional description

consisting of writing down their mental activities in verbal expression

(reconstruction of knowledge).

The second stage is 2-Dimensional patterning through interpretation.

These types of processing, 1-D description and 2-D patterning are repeated until

they complete a visual representation. This repeating can also make mental

images and words merge, and create proto-presentations through the interaction of

imagination and knowledge.

The third stage of processing is 3-Dimensional structuring that shows

more closely and clearly the truths in nature. As can be seen in the original

demonstration DNA structure model (Figure 24b), the model shows the exact

location of molecules such as bases, sugars, and the phosphate ‘backbone’.

Admittedly, this model is not perfect, but we can visualise how each molecule is

ordered based on accumulated knowledge and interpretation. Thus we can call this

type of processing the structuring of knowledge.

Finally, the fourth stage involves 4-dimensional processing to enhance

understanding. Scientists want to generate and disseminate new knowledge that is

published with various tables, diagrams, figures and words. To do this, they need

effective tools of visualisation. I think the above mentioned figures (scientists’

drawing at CHSL) are good examples from which we can deduce and interpret

their intention.

4.5 Conclusions

From what we have seen of the drawings and explanations of the concept

of DNA, it should not surprise us to discover the relationship between imagination

and human beings. As mentioned above, scientists have used figures to


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understand and communicate with themselves and with the public. Their drawing

is a reflection of their concept of DNA and their research. I think it is a kind of

scientific imagination. Imagination is a kind of psychical power that can describe

or visualise some things which have no visible form.

Scientific imagination cannot produce any meaningful product without

knowledge; that is why I mentioned research interests in relation to the scientists’

drawings. Those drawings are a product of the concept of DNA based on their

research results or interests. When humans want to know the truth of nature, they

make an effort to imagine what the truth is. When scientists want to know about

natural phenomena, they imagine mechanisms, shapes, interactions – they try to

describe with imagination things which can be drawings or not. They need an

accumulation and recombination of knowledge, interpretation, and understanding

discoveries by themselves and others.

In the next chapter I will examine artists’ visualization of DNA as their

subject. The visualisation of DNA by artists is more conceptual. Artists have

interpreted DNA as themes of personal identity, monsters, transgenics, eugenics,

and commodity.


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Chapter 5

Visualisation of DNA by artists

5.0 DNA as an artist’s subject

As discussed in Chapter 4, scientific visualization is used to understand

and communicate with other scientists and the public. This is regarded as a very

useful way to show what they have found and what they postulate. The drawings

made at the Cold Spring Harbour Laboratory about the concept of DNA reflected

the interest areas of the researchers, and they used imagination to express their

results and thoughts.

In this chapter I would like to explain artists’ visualization of DNA as their

subject. A number of artists use scientific findings and abstract theories, and this

raises some questions: why do artists visualise scientific discoveries or natural

phenomena? How do artists interpret these in their artworks? And with regard to

these aspects, what is the role of Sci-Art in present and future society?

Genetics, biotechnology and life sciences are scientific areas related to

DNA which are regarded as important research topics. They provide fertile

ground for both scientific research and artistic production, but which are seen

from different perspectives by each group. Philip R. Reilly explained very clearly

about the different views of DNA from scientific and artistic viewpoints, as he

comments below:

Scientists try to solve the mysteries of DNA; artists

contemplate them. (Anker and Nelkin 2004)

To solve the mysteries of nature, scientists use given information, develop

theories, and finally prove them. These kinds of scientific activities consequently

give the public more chances to understand the nature of where of we live and

what we are, whilst art allows us to contemplate and consider the effect of

scientific discoveries on the world.


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5.1 First DNA structure in painting

When Crick and Watson discovered the structure of DNA in 1953, it was a

big issue for scientists, but not for artists. At that time, DNA was no more than a

biochemical structure for artists who hardly thought it could be an art subject.

Before moving on to DNA as an artistic subject, I will briefly describe a

movement of art in mid-20th century. From 1940 until 1955 in the western art

world, abstract expressionism was popular and searched for answers to the

questions of human existence. Abstract expressionists such as Jackson Pollock

created action painting and Mark Rothko created colour field paintings, believing

that painting was considered as a pure expression of emotion and means of visual


The first art work using DNA was created 4 years after Watson and Crick

published their discovery of DNA: Salvador Dali painted the structure of DNA in

his painting of 1957-8 called Butterfly Landscape (The Great Masturbator in a

Surrealist Landscape with D.N.A.). He believed that science would soon be able

to fully explain the nature of reality. After scientists discovered the double helix,

Dali thought that the spiral was an important key and could prove the very basis

of life. He was always interested in science and religion in his life (Kemp 2003).

5.2 Visualization of DNA by artists

According to Martin Kemp, professor of art history at Oxford University,


No molecule in the history of science has reached the

iconic status of the double helix of DNA. Its image has been

imprinted on all aspects of society from science, art, music,

cinema, architecture and advertising (Kemp 2003).

Kemp explained that scientists explore and develop a greater

understanding of the natural world by creating visual representations. In particular,


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he emphasised that the double helix has become a cultural icon in the 21st century.

There are many artists who have used DNA as their subject of work since Dali,

therefore there are many different ways of visualizing DNA used by artists. They

touched on the social and cultural implications of genetic research through science

which has formed the movement of sci-art in contemporary art. How do artists

visualize and interpret DNA in this context?

I would like to organize this chapter into five sections by artists’ subjects;

new portrait, monsters, transgenic, eugenics, and commodity. These five sections

are based on a book The Molecular Gaze: Art In The Genetic Age (Anker and

Nelkin 2004). It will explain how artists employ DNA and the various ways in

which they visualise it in their work. I will discuss the reflection of scientific

finding, focusing on DNA and genetics, and on art in our culture.

5.2.1 DNA as the new portrait

There have been many artists who have defined the body as DNA code

information such as “A, T, G, C” since the human genome project started and its

potential function affected our society. For example, Kevin Clarke and Marc

Quinn’s genetic portraits, Dennis Ashbaugh’s autoradiograph and Inigo

Manglano-Ovalle’s DNA portraits. Their works can be seen as revealing the

personal identity and the invisible essence of their subjects.

Kevin Clarke made a first abstract Portrait of John Cage (who was a

famous composer and artist) in 1992 and Portrait of James D Watson (the co-

discoverer of DNA structure) in 1998-1999, and then later he made many portraits

of artists and scientists using their DNA. Clarke explored new ways of depicting

people as a portrait photographer by genetic code, ATGC, which can be used to

identify individuals. Clarke asked scientists to isolate people’s DNA and to

sequence the bases A, T, G, and C. He combined these alphabets with some ready

made objects in order to imply the subject’s identity which is the essential and

intrinsic characteristic of humankind. (Travis 2000)


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In 2001, Marc Quinn created A Portrait of Sir John Sulston (a Nobel

laureate in physiology) in 2002, which is now on permanent exhibition at the

National Portrait Gallery in London. It is the first genomic portrait, amongst all

the other realistic figurative portraits in the gallery. Quinn’s portrait is not the

traditional way in which people identify with their faces or appearances. A

technique used in the portrait, inserting Sulston’s DNA derived from sperm into a

vector and transforming into E. coli bacteria, a method which was first used to

discover genome sequences in early genomics. Finally, it ends up as patterns of

migrating cells positioned in the centre and a big square mirror-like frame which

reflects the viewer’s image (National Portrait Gallery e-newsletter 2001).

Dennis Ashbaugh explored a new concept of portraiture using DNA

sequencing documented by digital imaging as a basis for large scale paintings. In

1992, he painted Designer Gene by autoradiograph which provided a means for

visualizing the invisible. The autoradiograph was developed to determine the size

of DNA sequences using plutonium 32, a radioactive isotope normally used to

identify characteristics of a specific molecule in molecular biology. His genetic

portraits combine and explore traditional abstract painting with scientific

technology (Rose 2006).

Inigo Manglano-Ovalle made 48 DNA portraits in a series called Garden

of Delights of large images based on genetic fingerprints of his sisters in 1998.

Traditional fingerprints are used to identify individuals in forensic science, and

now DNA fingerprinting is used in molecular biology to identify specific DNA

sequences of individuals. In this process, DNA is ‘amplified’ with specific

restriction enzymes to show unique patterns, so it can be used to identify a person

(Pollack 2000).

The artists mentioned above have changed or reinvented the concept of the

portrait from an ‘objective’ visual likeness to an abstract representation by using

DNA technology. As scientists used DNA sequences to identify and characterise

specific genes or to compare them for their research, artists have used genetics

from a similar perspective of DNA as the essence of identity. It is not a new

concept for an artist to attempt to describe identity; the pursuit of identity is a


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recurrent theme in artistic works. The application of DNA science and technology,

such as DNA fingerprinting or foot printing to reveal identity, might have inspired

some artists who have been trying to find new approaches to express their concept

of human identity. Admittedly, to identify individuals, photographs have been

used, and have replaced portraits using drawing or painting which were the first of

extrinsic personal identification. At this point in time photography is being

replaced by DNA to identify individuals in our cultural life.

There is an argument that portraits using DNA could be too narrowly

interpreted even though the portraits have revealed the inner domain of a person

behind the surface appearance. Some people still believe that the portraits should

show literal appearances such as human faces and shapes. One pioneer in the field

of medical anthropology, Margaret Lock, argues that many artists who make

artworks with genetic subjects are less concerned with social culture than the

creation of their own symbolic forms, which are simplified in DNA code (Lock

2002 p. 299-377). Lock also points out that complex cultural factors affect

perceptions of health and illness as well as the critical relationship between brain

death and organ donation, life and death which are related in the body or identify

human individuality. Lock researched cultural differences in issues of organ

transplants and definitions of brain death; she believes that human identity cannot

be defined only in bodily terms, but must also recognise cultural effects.

In addition, some aspects of our human behaviour and propensity for

diseases can be explained by genes. Thus, it should be natural rather than strange

for artists to use DNA to express the identity of their subjects. Our physical

appearance changes over time, but our genetic make-up does not, so a genetic

portrait in some ways reveals a less transitory description of an individual.

Traditional ideas about the role of ‘nurture’ have been challenged by genetic

technology’s explanation of the role of ‘nature’ in human behaviour. The success

of DNA science in predicting behavioural and medical conditions has led some

people to look for a ‘gay gene’ as an explanation for hom*osexual behaviour. The

mapping of the human genome has not provided us with such an explanation; we

should not forget the importance of ‘nurture’ – or culture – and we should be wary

of reductionist approaches to sensitive cultural issues.


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5.2.2 Monsters

Images of the grotesque are commonly shown in artworks. Frances S.

Conelly explained that the grotesque has become important in the visual arts since

the early nineteenth century. The re-emergence of the grotesque may be

considered to have a parallel with such developments as psychoanalysis,

photography, mass media, science and globalization. The main characteristics of

grotesques are a lack of fixity, stability and order. Conelly (2003, p. 5-20)

suggested that the grotesques can be understood as modalities which are at play

on the boundaries of what they do. They exist in relation to a boundary,

convention, or expectation. Connelly commented on the effect of the grotesque on

art in her book:

The grotesque permeates modern imagery, acting as

punctum to the ideals of enlightened progress and universality

and to the hubris of modernist dreams of transcendence over

the living world (Connelly 2003, p. 10).

The first transgenic animal, the so called ‘Harvard mouse’, with oncogene1,

was successfully generated in 1988 (Muller et al., 1988). Some people are

understandably concerned about the possibility that animals and plants with

altered genetic characteristics could threaten our environment, our health and our

food supply. Animal welfare groups feel that genetic manipulation will lead to

increased animal suffering. Others believe scientists are, in a sense, ‘playing God’

by shuffling genes from one species to another. Still others are more concerned

that scientists will use these techniques on humans.

This concern surfaced most visibly in February 1997 when researchers in

Scotland announced that they had successfully cloned an adult sheep, producing

Dolly, a younger, genetically identical ‘twin’ of the original (Wilmut et al., 1997).

The possibilities of genetic manipulation have also reawakened an interest in

monsters and mutants in contemporary culture and visual art.

1 An oncogene is a modified gene, or a set of nucleotides that codes for a protein, that increases the malignancy of a tumor cell such as cancer.


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There are some artists, such as Jake and Dinos Chapman, Joel-Peter

Witkin and Charles Ray who have reflected on this kind of cultural trend in their

work. The visualisation of monsters and mutants is varied among artists; their

visions of monstrosity or mutagenesis characterise their concerns with such

technologies. It would be helpful to grasp the intent of artists and their interest in

grotesque imagery.

In an interview with The Journal of Contemporary Art, the Chapman

brothers mentioned:

One thing for sure is that “humanity” and

“monstrosity” are not dislocated as a duality, are not even

related equivalents but the same…. Our organisms are

genetically mature and dislike being called children. They wear

sneakers so that they can run fast like super- powered nomads

(Chapman, http://www.jca-

The Chapman brothers’ Zygotic Acceleration is about sexualisation of

children who live in the world of advertising and fashion. Wearing the same

sneakers shows that contemporary culture makes no individuality or identity. The

children in the sculpture look like each other and parts of their bodies are

positioned wrongly. It expresses the potential shock and confusion that the bio

genetic could produce in the next generation (Saatchi Gallery 2003).

Joel-Peter Witkin considers issues of morality as central to his

photographs. He finds beauty within the grotesque, dwarfs, and people with odd

physical characteristics. Female King (1997) is one of his photographs which is

borrowed from 19th-century painter James Ensor. In this painting, woman who is

overweight and strong sits on a chair. Witkin intended to express the woman’s

great power and courage in this photograph. He represents the beauty of the

grotesque which is taboo in our society (Palmer 1997).

Family Romance (1993) by Charles Ray, for example, is a typical artwork

employing grotesque concepts. The group of sculptural pieces presents one


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family which has become the place of disorder and chaos, transgressing the

principles of reproduction. He made the father, mother, boy and girl hold hands,

each one as a normal family. But each individual is exactly 135cm in height and is

naked. The parents are smaller than normal, the children are enlarged. His

sculptural pieces represent notions of reproduction as affected by biotechnology

(The Museum of Modern Art 1999).

The possibilities of biotechnology research make the future unpredictable

or uncertain. In other words, biotechnology leads to a double-faced future with

bright and dark sides that can either cure and create, or kill and destroy.

Furthermore, it is hard to define what is natural or not, what is normal or not.

Anxieties about the possibilities of biotechnology lead us to think seriously about

our normality of the body in future society.

There are two representative images of science; pictures of Einstein with a

smile and Frankenstein’s monster with a scar on his face. The former shows a

positive image, the latter a negative one such as the misleading of science or

technology to destroy civilisation. As we know, the genetic revolution has

questioned our concept of what is right or wrong, particularly in human

reproduction fields such as embryonic stem cell research. Many artists have

explored these anxieties about the body and the ways in which biotechnology

could be a horrifying new development.

Even though the anxiety about new technology can explain, to some extent,

the reason why grotesques are shown in contemporary art, it will be necessary to

consider the relationship and communication between art and science for our


Denna Jones, a curator of the Two Ten gallery in the Wellcome Trust UK,

commented on this aspect of communication, when scientific discoveries and

developments are employed in artwork. She points out that artists with these

topics play a role in a way for the general pubic to find out what scientists are

doing and to start debate. She believes that bringing to the fore debates about


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current genetic research is an essential role for artists, rather than to explore the

way it is right or wrong (Jones 2002).

5.2.3 Transgenic

Artworks using transgenic technology are closely related to the grotesque.

While grotesque artworks usually reflect or focus on the fear of technology,

transgenic art actively or directly employs their techniques and produces new

types of artwork never seen before.

There are reasons for the existence of transgenic images in visual art today.

As discussed above, transgenic animals and genetically-modified plants are a

direct consequence of technologies which threaten the purity of the species. In

other cases, they symbolise the capability to extend and transform life. Currently,

transgenic researchers have become the subject of political, religious, and ethical

discussion. It means that the transgenic issue has moved beyond the field of

science, and is affecting our present society already.

Using the benefit from the discoveries of science, some artists find new

biomorphic forms and materials in biological models, whose discoveries provide

experimental source material for them. Visual artists like Eduardo Kac and Paul

McCarthy have used this type of discovery as references in artworks influenced

by transgenic experiments. Frank Gillette and Eva Sutton have represented the

wider transgression of boundaries in this age. Even if contemporary art reflects a

certain amusem*nt at defying rationality, some artists express anxieties with

transgenic science.

This section discusses artworks made by current transgenic artists and the

cultural aspects of transgenics. Eduardo Kac is one of the artists of the transgenic

art, which is a new art form. In his first transgenic artwork, GFP Bunny, he

collaborated with geneticist Louis-Marie Houdebine in 2000 to create a rabbit

called Alba which includes a gene that makes it glow green under UV light. This

technique is usually used by scientists for research in the genetic engineering field.

He used this science method to create transgenic art. He had an exhibition in


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which the GFP Bunny and he stayed in the space where people came and saw

their interactions (Becker 2000).

Kac, as a transgenic artist, mentioned that he is not interested in the

creation of genetic objects. He is more interested in the invention of transgenic

social subjects. He also explained that

Transgenic art is not about the crafting of genetic

objects of art, either inert or imbued with vitality. Such an

approach would suggest a conflation of the operational sphere

of life sciences with a traditional aesthetics that privileges

formal concerns, material stability, and hermeneutical isolation.

Integrating the lessons of dialogical philosophy and cognitive

ethology, transgenic art must promote awareness of and

respect for the spiritual (mental) life of the transgenic animal

(Kac 2000).

Another artist, Paul McCarthy, intends to explore our desire of consuming,

and relationship to biotechnology in contemporary society. He made an

installation entitled Tomato Heads in 1994, in which three male figures have a big

tomato head instead of a human face, and he put gardening tools and giant carrots

including rubber vagin*s and penises into the figures and floor. His hybrid figures,

which are the union of mixing parts, represent the dark side of violent

transformation in biotechnology (Nelkin 1996).

As McCarthy expressed in Tomato Heads transgenic technology, Alexis

Rockman, who has been interested in natural history, also gives the viewer an

understanding, past to present of agricultural development. Particularly, one of his

paintings, The Farm (2000), represented plants and animals that have changed

their shapes and will change faster along with developments in biotechnology. He


In The Farm I am interested in how the present and the

future look of things are influenced by a broad range of


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pressures- human consumption, aesthetics, domestication, and

medical applications among them (Rockman 2002).

The artists mentioned above take an ambivalent position to a human future

influenced by advancing biotechnology. However some artists, for example, Eva

Sutton, show another aspect that seems to be related to the grotesque. She created

imaginary animals called Hybrids for her installation in 2000. These imaginary

animals are mutated and hybridized monsters which combine different species

into one body using a computer program, such as a dog head combined with a bird

body and horse bottom. Her intention is to make these hybrid monsters as a

possible result of genetic engineering experiments that could go wrong in the near

future. Her imagery gives the viewer an image of biotechnology and

bioengineering in terms of fairy tales, and myths (Sutton 2002).

Is transgenic art emerging as a new type of art at this moment? Let us look

back at art history. In the early 20th century, Marcel Duchamp’s readymade

objects broke and extended the traditional concept of sculpture in which artists

cast or carve three dimensional objects. His readymade objects opened up a new

form of sculpture. Since Duchamp, artists have developed a variety of ways to

visualize their themes or emotions. In 1968, the art historian Jack Burnham

published his book Beyond Modern Sculpture which predicted a new form of art

as a “living realty” after the 20th century (Lynton 1970). He imagined that the

development of science will break down the psychic and physical barriers

between art and living reality and give an opportunity to create new forms of

sculpture. Transgenic art could be one of the new art forms as predicted by


Another aspect of transgenic art should be considered: Carol Becker

explained that the artist’s role for transgenic art (like Eduardo Kac) is as an

educator, scientist and social critic as well as artist. Kac not only started a new art

form, but also extended the role of artist (Becker 2000). This is a very important

point in terms of Sci-Art or art itself. Even though the social role of art as

education and communication among different worlds is a valuable point, the


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importance seems to be overridden compared to the self-expression of artists and

other human activities.

5.2.4 New Eugenics

Successful cloning using somatic nuclear transfer in mammals, such as

Dolly the sheep in 1997, provided scientific capabilities for the selection of traits

and even for the ‘breeding of better people’. Historically, the technology of

artificial insemination had already started in the late 20th century. Since the first

test-tube baby, Louise Brown, was born in Britain in 1978, IVF2 technology led to

the creation of families that naturally would not have existed.

Professor Robert Edwards, who helped create the world’s first test-tube

baby called Louise Brown in 1978, stated in a newspaper interview that “cloning,

too, will probably come to be accepted as a reproductive tool if it is carefully

controlled” (Schmickle 2001). The world's first 'designer baby', Adam Nash, was

born on 29 August 2000 in the United States. He was born after genetic testing

selection at an early embryonic stage to provide a cure for his sister Molly

suffering from genetic diseases (Nerlich et al., 2003).

These kinds of advanced and developed technologies using DNA-related

science consequently lead contemporary artists to explore identity, heredity and

destiny in their images. They draw from eugenics and they convey concerns about

the perpetuation of family, its history and blood lineage. Most artworks with the

concept of eugenics describe a new type of human reproduction, rather than the

selection for good population as in the early 20th century (which was discussed

chapter 3).

Suzanne Anker is an artist and one of the leaders in art related to science

and technology in New York, USA. She is interested in genetic science, especially

in embryo transfer and genetic engineering. One of her art pieces, Material

Powers (1999), expressed the ideas of a ‘test-tube baby’: two flasks, one with a

2 In vitro fertilisation (IVF) is a technique in which egg cells are fertilised by sperm outside the woman's womb.


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foetus and one waiting its foetal implantation, represents the transfer of embryo,

and is seen against a background of chromosomes which was reflected onto and

refracted by the flasks. Making babies in the laboratory is expanding the old way

of making babies and breaks the concept of family. Her work addresses issues

about reproductive technologies like ‘designer babies’ in our society (Anker 2004).

Adam Fuss’s Invocation (1992) was exhibited in the Gallery of Art and

Science at the New York Academy of Science in 2004. The title of the show was

Reprotech: Building Better Babies? It investigated the positive and negative

possibilities of reproducting new life curated by Susan Anker. Fuss used a

traditional photogram, which does not use a camera to take a photograph, but uses

light to gain the image from real object without using lenses. He positioned a baby

in a shallow tray of water and captured the outline of the baby’s body and its

movements by the photogram technique. He explained that this image gives an

impression of a baby in the womb (Anker 2004).

In contrast, Zhang Xiaogang touched on another aspect of eugenics. He

was interested in birth control by government policy in Europe and America, and

the consequences. His portraits are all about family and the notion of identity

within communist Chinese culture. The faces in his paintings do not show any

emotions, names or time. He painted a series of individual histories in a limited

style (Chang 2004). His series Bloodline began in 1990, coinciding with the rapid

growth of consumerism in China. All family members (father, mother and one

child) are linked by a red bloodline in his paintings, in which the mother and

father are shown in black and white, and the child figure is shown in colour. The

families in his pictures show no emotion; we see an unnatural situation in place of

the usual happiness.

The child in his family paintings is always a boy. Each parent is allowed

only one child by the Chinese government. Most parents prefer to have a boy.

Xiaogang intends to show how the traditional family is preferable to the modern

‘revolutionary family’ where all individuals are brothers and sisters, as proscribed

by Chairman Mao. Xiaogang’s art explores these new eugenics and the problems


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caused by clashes between the restrictions imposed by a state and the freedom

offered by these new technologies.

The ‘designer baby’ is no longer just a fictional idea. The power of

creation once believed to be the sole province of God is now in the hands of

scientists. Development of genetic determinism, genetic tests and gene therapy

can reduce suffering caused by genetic disorders. In fact, the potential to cure the

diseases increased after the completion of the Human Genome Project and

advances in cloning technology. It also gives us hope of saving babies who could

not survive without these technologies. On the other hand, it can make us scared

to think about the future of human identity and immortality. It could be that

having a baby is like choosing the kind of car we want – what colour and shape it

should be. People are wondering how far we are willing to go to have a ‘normal’,

‘perfect’ or ‘genius’ child.

Susan Anker questioned these serious issues of our life and society:

With the bio-printing of replacement organs and tissues

on the research horizon, at what cost is this quest for

immortality? What social consequences are in store when

wombs can be rented through surrogacy contracts and

children become the genetic product of three parents? When

virgins can give birth and corpses can be fathers, what's next?

(Anker 2004).

These questions are not only Anker’s questions, they are also are our

questions. Furthermore, there are more questions we have to think about: how do

we perceive an original or copy, the value of unique personhood, or for that matter

the unique status of a work of art?

5.2.5 Commodity

Commercial values have returned to the visual arts since the 1980s, and

artists have approached the consumer culture in various ways. Some works have

glorified the banality of kitsch by using the signs and symbols of the commodity.


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Chrissy Conant and Helen Storey draw their images from the state of science and

its commercial direction. Others, like Larry Miller and Bryan Crotchett, believe

that living beings should not be used as products or instruments. Their varied

perspectives reflect the broader public ambivalence about biotechnology’s

unravelling applications. Frank Moore reflected the agonizing complexity of

questions by his painting, Oz. This painting can be seen either as glorifying the

worth of genetic research or as an advance warning of genetic engineering.

Chrissy Conant produced into packaged goods “Chrissy Caviar” using her

own eggs as a commodity, in 2001-2002. She borrowed an image from beluga

caviar, which is one of the world’s greatest delicacies, and made her own product

to express the reproduction of the body in the market. Creating a new product as

an artwork, she put one of her eggs combined with human tubal fluid in a jar

instead of fish roe and made a new label which shows her body instead of a fish.

The process of making “Chrissy Caviar” followed the scientist’s method of using

mouse or human eggs in the lab. She explained the aim of making art with her

body by collaboration with technology to satirize the selling of women’s eggs in

contemporary society (Conant 2003).

Larry Miller has focused on issues of human lineages, identity and the

coding of DNA in genetic science since the late 1980s. Miller’s Genetic Code

Copyright (1992) focused on question of the ownership of DNA and commercial

applications of genetic technology. He created a certificate of the genetic code for

humans and published it all over the world. He tried to bring issues of individual

identity, genetic ownership and ethics raised by genetic technology to public

debate (Leffingwell 2000).

Frank Moore’s painting, Wizard (1994) is a futuristic landscape of a

medical establishment, with pills and dollars on the ground. In the painting, there

is one man with a white-coated scientist who is identified as Dr. Jean-Claude

Chermann (a co-discoverer of the HIV virus), and are with a retinue of white lab

rats. In his painting, Moore described the dark side of the scientific research,


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which is an important method to improve human life. As he was HIV3 positive

when he painted Wizard, he had an idea that genetic engineering research is going

to change every aspect of our lives, and that it needs people’s attention in order to

keep research on track (Sievert 2002).

R. Henig (2004) gives the example of Chrissy Conant, who produced the

packaged goods “Chrissy Caviar” as art, and points out that one role of artists who

visualize and represent science is to bring the debate to the general public.

Explaining the implications of reproductive technology

by using her own body as a canvas - this is why a society needs

its artists, to take its developments and transgressions to their

logical, and sometimes even illogical, conclusions (Henig 2004).

Unlike scientists, artists do not find right or wrong answers. Artists

contemplate scientific ideas and try to share and discuss scientific issues. Henig

explained that while scientists inform their research with diagrams or writing

which the public hardly understands, artists visualize via paintings, sculptures or

installations which people can more easily understand and about which they are

able to form their own opinions about.

Critical Art Ensemble (CAE) shares the view with Henig that artists

should provide critical public debate and form a bridge to biotechnology and show

both the positive and negative sides which relate to funding and commodity.

The utopian rhetoric of the creators, manufacturers,

and promoters of scientific invention is relatively hard to argue

with, because of a popular perception that the public

(nonspecialists in biology) cannot comprehend scientific

knowledge at an advanced enough level to be able to validly

comment on scientific claims and initiatives (Critical Art

Ensemble 2000).

3 Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a retrovirus that causes acquired immunodeficiency syndrome


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CAE (2000) suggested that scientists should inform and discuss their

views with people such as artists, activists and students of different levels,

because they believe that such people are able to make valid contributions. From

the viewpoint of capitalism in the globalised world, anything can be traded. Thus,

it is not strange for artists to express their concerns about commercialised

societies and warn about the negative issues, and these concerns expressed

through art are essential for communication with the public. These kinds of

artworks can express negative, positive or neutral views of science and technology,

and do not need to decide which views are right or wrong. They just raise

questions and show what is going on now.

5.3 Conclusions

Finally, I would like to discuss a new movement in art that uses science as

its subject. Earlier, I introduced five different groups of artists whose theme was

inspired by DNA, genes, or genetics. Each visualized in various ways new

scientific research, some creating new forms of art with new scientific

technologies, and some representing the negative aspects of scientific research. It

would seem only natural that artists are interested in DNA and its effect on human

life and society, because of art’s traditional association with themes of identity.

Until the end of the Renaissance, there was hardly any distinction

between art and science. For example, Leonardo da Vinci was both an artist and

scientist himself, and similarly Galileo Galilei was a scientist and musician. One

reason a person could study science and art at same time was that there was not

too much knowledge to understand. As technology developed with such tools as

the microscope and the computer, each subject has become more complicated and

specialized. Alfonso Niquori, Professor of physical chemistry at the University of

Rome, pointed out that there is one important reason for the division of art and


The romantic idea that a scientist should not use

imagination but only rigour, and that an artist must not use

rigour but only imagination is in my view completely wrong – I


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think that a scientist without imagination is a very bad scientist

and an artist without rigour is a very bad artist. Today, I think

that this link has a chance of being re-established again (Wijers

1996, p. 166).

Niquori criticized the romantic idea of scientist and artist separated in

imagination and rigour. In his opinion, scientists and artists should have both

imagination and rigour. Previously, I described the value of imagination in

scientific research, focusing in particular on Watson and Crick’s work on DNA

structure in chapters 2 and 3. Now, I will explain in more depth how the

imagination is used by artists and scientists.

Imagination is a kind of psychical power that can describe or visualise

things which have no visible form. Artists use their imagination to create their

artwork and, as part of the human being, imagination provides the grounds to

differentiate humanity from other creatures. I assume that most of the artists in

this chapter visualise their ideas with their imagination of DNA and the future of

our society which could be unpredictably changed by genetic technology.

At the end of the 20th century, there are an increasing number of artists

who engage with science subjects. They believe that Sci-Art is a new movement

for the 21st century, in which science will be considered as a crucial domain to

explain our society and human activities. However, some people doubt that Sci-

Art should have a significant status as a field in art precisely because of its

educational intent and its close association with science. On the contrary, I believe

that as anything can be a valid subject of art, the use of scientific subjects in Sci-

Art does not disqualify it from having art status.

Sci-Art allows the ordinary public to understand complicated science and

technology more easily by illustrating, simplifying and raising social issues. Sci-

Art is located in the indeterminate and ever-expanding border between science

and art. If art can be defined as a subject exploring uncertainty for forming new

concepts about human and nature, Sci-Art should also be considered as having

potential for artistic activities.


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The next chapter will analyse the importance of collaboration between art

and science in education. This will include a report on questionnaires about Sci-

Art which was carried out with students from Trinity Catholic School. The

questionnaires were designed in two parts: 1) the question as to how students

regard science and art, and 2) their attitudes towards Sci-Art.


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Chapter 6

Collaboration between art and science in education:

A case study at Trinity Catholic School

6.0 Introduction

The previous chapter (chapter 5) demonstrated there has been a great deal

of work on science and art. In this chapter, I will attempt to examine the benefits

of collaboration between science and art. This chapter will review my residency at

Trinity School by way of further understanding the possibilities that art and

science exchanges can bring. Before moving to the central part of my analysis, it

is worth taking a quick look at science-art collaboration projects and the

importance of the interdisciplinary exchanges of thoughts and processes.

Sci-Art is a relatively new and exciting area, bringing artists and scientists

together to work on ideas that have common themes or problems. Thus several

foundations and organisations promote many such partnerships and projects

including artists-in-residence schemes (see Table 2). I will argue that Sci-Art can

promote public engagement with science and raise important questions about how

science affects our world.


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Title of Organization Activity

1 The Daniel Langlois Foundation for Art, Science and Technology

Established in the spring of 1997 through an endowment provided by Daniel Langlois. The Foundation is a private non-profit organization whose scope of activity is international.

2 Wellcome Trust Funds scientists and artists to research and to produce projects that reflect contemporary practice in each discipline. Emphasis on science-art collaborations.

3 Art & Science Collaborations, Inc. (ASCI)

A wonderful New York City based global non-profit organization that has an online matching tool.

4 The ArtSci INDEX Seeks to help facilitate collaboration between scientists and artists. They also host conferences, produce art exhibits, and the monthly ASCI eBulletin.

5 Seen & Unseen Initiated by Helix Arts in England,

encourages and promotes examples of how communities can work with artists and scientists to tackle their own pollution problems

6 The Arts Catalyst (UK) the science-art agency

Promotes and connects artists and scientist led projects. A heavy focus on space, biotechnology and high tech science. Some interesting projects.

7 YLEM - Artists Using Science & Technology

An international organization of artists, scientists, authors, curators, and art enthusiasts who explore the intersection of the arts and sciences.

8 Leonardo/ISAST Serves the international arts community by promoting and documenting work at the intersection of the arts, sciences, and technology, and by encouraging and stimulating collaboration between artists, scientists, and technologists.

Table 2 Foundations and organisations which support Science and Art collaboration

Sci-Art emerged from a socio-cultural context that has provided major

support to collaborations between artists and scientists since at least 1996, when

the Wellcome Trust launched their Sci-Art scheme. In 1998, the U.K. National

Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts was created, and in 1999 the

Sci-Art Consortium was established, comprising no fewer than five major funding

bodies coming together to support art and science projects. At the end of 2001, the


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Arts Council England and Arts and Humanities Research Council agreed to set up

a new joint funding strand for interdisciplinary research fellows working across

science, technology and art (Ferran et. al. 2006; British Council 2003).

The Wellcome Trust, an independent research-funding charity, was

established under the will of Sir Henry Wellcome in 1936, and is a leading

organisation for Sci-Art projects. The Wellcome Trust has been seeking to engage

many types of audience in medical science and its social context. The Sci-Art

project by the trust started in 1996 because they believed that collaborative and

interdisciplinary practice across the arts and sciences can help to provide new

perspectives on both fields.

Ken Arnold curated many major Sci-Art exhibitions for many years as

head of the exhibitions department at the Wellcome Trust. He accurately

articulated the necessity of these projects; firstly, science has provided some

artists with inspiration in the areas of medium, message and location; secondly,

the world of science can gain in many different ways from the arts, and bring new

perspectives and insights; finally, the true power of science and art as a union is

that the union can build a more engaged relationship with the public, not the

practical breakthroughs (Arnold 2005).

C.P. Snow argues that students majoring in science should study art

subjects, and vice versa.

This study could be grafted into any of our educational

systems, at high school or college levels, without artificiality

and without strain. I dare say that, as usual, this is an idea

which is already floating around the world, and that, as I write

this paragraph, some American college has already laid on the

first course (Snow 1963, p. 75).

Snow explained that some American colleges had already started this type

of interdisciplinary study by 1960. He claimed that the two cultures have to meet

each other in an early education period (secondary college level) to avoid creating


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a gap between them. Since Snow pointed out the importance of crossover

education 40 years ago, some educators have found that many students have

difficulties with, and are less interested in, science subjects which have separated

from other subjects. They share Snow’s opinion that art and science should be

interdisciplinary learning subjects. It is important to examine why students are

not interested in science subjects and how art can increase students’ interest in

science subjects. Part of my residency experience was to observe whether art can

increase students’ interest in science.

6.1 Sci-Art in School and Laboratory

I worked as an artist-in-residence and lecturer-in-residence from 1st

October 2006 to 5th February 2007 in the Trinity Catholic School, Leamington

Spa, England. During my residency, I collaborated, two days per week, with

selected key stage 3 students. My artworks have focused on life sciences, in

particular the structure of DNA. With the students, we were producing sculptural

structures based on the iconic three-dimensional structure of DNA, exploring the

theme of personal identity. This work was shown in the “Laboratories” exhibition

that was held in Trinity Catholic School from 5th Feb. 2007 – 19th Feb. 2007.

To better understand this “Laboratories” project, I would like to briefly

introduce Trinity Catholic School. The school has both Technology and Arts

status and has been awarded an Artsmark Gold award. The school also has its own

Sixth Form College on site, so the age-range of pupils is 11-18. Since 1980, the

school has had an annual art exhibition with a variety of subjects. This year, the

theme of the exhibition was the ‘Laboratories’. Clearly, the school is already

predisposed to interdisciplinary practice and, as such, my findings are particular to

this context and school.

It may be useful to start out by describing this program. Firstly, some of

the A-level students explored the practice that occurs in scientific laboratories.

The students discussed the moral, social and ethical issues relating to scientific

exploration. Secondly, Sue Williams, a biology teacher, dissected a rat in the art

department. Art teacher Sheridan Horn recorded the whole process, and many


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students took photographs for documentary purposes. After the dissection, the

students made drawings of their photographs, and then the recorded film was

presented in the exhibition. Thirdly, students were encouraged to independently

investigate or analyse a variety of artists whose works relate to scientific themes

or issues. They also discussed how artists presented their work and how it shows

their understanding of science.

The project attempted to provide the students with a new perspective of

the relationships between science and art. To accomplish this goal, artists-in-

residence and teachers collaborated with students to generate several artworks.

These are described in the next section, and my own work will be discussed in the

following chapter.

The following artists contributed to the ‘Laboratories’ exhibition: Grace

Newman, a sculptor, explored biomedical issues using mixed media, including

medical ready-mades. During her residency at Trinity School, she encouraged

selected key stage 3 students to see the sights of nature through making cellular

structures. Another artist-in-residence, Lucy Halliday had worked with students

from key stages 4 and 5, and explored the sense of proprioception4 and the

phenomenon of phantom limbs, producing a collaborative piece using film and

sculptural processes. Eva Smets had been in the school one day per week, and

responded to issues relating to cloning. Miriam Zvelking worked with key stage 3

students exploring ‘the scene of the crime’.

Teachers also contributed to the Sc-Art project: Gill Jopia, an art teacher

who employed the concept of clothing as an autopsy specimen, and performed

anatomical dissections on a wedding dress using it as a metaphor for the break-up

of human relationships. Sheridan Horn, head of the art department, had played the

role of a parapsychologist called Professor Fluke during the project. She produced

a mock-up of a small research laboratory entitled ‘The Department of

4 Proprioception is the sense of the relative position of neighbouring parts of the body. Unlike the six exteroceptive senses (sight, taste, smell, touch, hearing, and balance) by which we perceive the outside world, proprioception is an interoceptive sense that provides feedback solely on the status of the body internally


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Parasitological’. It showed a range of aspects of human life such as co-

dependency, mortality and medical achievement.

6.2 Workshop using science as a resource for creative art

In this section, I would like to begin by presenting the outline of the

workshop that was carried out during the artist’s residency programme at Trinity

Catholic School, focusing on the understanding of relationships between art and

science and the importance of science as a potential resource for creative activity.

It is commonly considered that art and science are at opposite ends of the

educational spectrum because similarities and differences between two academic

disciplines seem to be misunderstood and at variance with each other.

Furthermore, as I presented above and in chapters 1 and 3 (science and art, DNA

icon), Sci–art is not fully established yet, and is still not regarded as a visual art

genre. However, it represents social and moral issues to the public, and many

artists express their concepts of science in the post-genome era. In this regard, the

consideration of the relationship between art and science is necessary for potential

roles in art. In particular, most interdisciplinary education in art and science are

carried out in science-based schools or institutes, focusing effects or influences of

art on science such as inspiration. However, science is not considered as a subject

for creative art per se. Thus the aim of this workshop is to provide another aspect

and understanding of science for art, particularly focussed on DNA and

Biotechnology. To do this, the workshop is built upon three major steps as


1. Basic understanding of DNA structure and history of the discovery

2. Discussion of the importance of DNA and the potential roles in our life

3. Group studies and art production using DNA as an artistic theme

Firstly, I presented and explained using slides and video to help the

students gain insights into the discovery of the DNA structure including the basic

structure. The double helix consisted of four different base pairs (A, T, G, C), the

dynamic activities such as DNA repair, replication, transcription, and translation.


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Moreover, the procedures of the discovery of DNA structure were also presented.

As described in the previous chapter, the double helix structure was discovered by

speculative imagination using previous accumulated results published by other

scientists, rather than by experiments using chemical or physical methods by

Watson and Crick. Through this lecture, imagination and creativity which are

considered as critical elements in art are important in science as well as art. I

demonstrated to the students that interpretation using imagination guides scientists

to propose novel scientific models (creativity), which are consequently proved by

experiments. My intention, then, is to offer a new perspective for similarities

between art and science.

Secondly, we discussed why the discovery of DNA structure is important

and how the developments of technologies using DNA such as recombinant DNA,

transgenetics, somatic cell nuclear transfer (Dolly the sheep) have affected our life.

Human cloning was also introduced. This study was intended to broaden students’

horizons in understanding the effects of science on our life and why scientific

findings such as DNA can be used as a resource for creative art.

Thirdly, artworks were produced as a part of the artist/lecturer-in-

residence programme, focussing on “IDENTITY” related to DNA. The first four

groups participated in the production of three-dimensional sculpture. Various

materials were deployed in articulating these structures. From differently-coloured

autumn leaves to laboratory ware such as glass pipettes and test-tubes material

‘values’ were explained. The particular material associates, leaves and scientific

apparatus, were part of the interdisciplinary nature of the workshop. The students

brought their own nails, urine and hairs to present their identity and showed their

performance about their identity.

This art production was carried out in October 2006. Thus fallen leaves on

the school ground were collected and dried for one week. The dried fallen leaves

and laboratory wares were attached using glue guns to the double helix shaped

flame that was made of chicken wire (Figure 27a, 27b). The processing of art

production was very exciting and interesting to all participants, taking their own

identity and collaborating with others to create artwork using a common theme -


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identity related to DNA. The leaves and lab wares containing their material

identity such as nail, hair, urine and even their pictures, tried to represent their

identity in the big DNA double helix (Figure 28).


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Figure 27a and 27b Processing of 3-D art production


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Figure 28 Final art work of 3-D sculpture using laboratory ware and natural materials.


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The second group of students produced a video. The second group initially

brought in and presented information in relation to their identities through basic

descriptors and performances (Figure 30). These were more of an identikit,

showing colour of eyes, birthdays etc. The students presented these through

performances in the manner of a police ‘mug shot’. Juxtaposed with this identity

expression were images representing embryonic developments which were

provided by Inchul Choi, a PhD student studying animal development and biotech

at the University of Nottingham (Figure 31). The resulting video of the

performance with the ‘mug shot’ stance in relation to the biotech images enabled

discussion around the nature of biology and identity through both the subjective

and the rational forms of expression (Figure 32). The project also enabled me to

discuss ideas around nature/nurture. The ensuing discussion focused on

differences and connections between biological identity and sociological identity.

The final video document was shown in the same place as the 3D structural work

(Figure 33).

Figure 30 Performance of students Figure 31 Image of embryonic developments


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Figure 32 Production of video using identity and embryo development.


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Figure 33 Installation Laboratory


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6.3 Questionnaire

In addition, a questionnaire was used to enable me to determine students’

perspective of art and science. Students involved in the Sci-Art project from 11 to

18 years old at Trinity Catholic School responded to the questionnaire at the end

of the project. In total 128 students answered the questionnaire, which consisted

of 14 items. The function of the questionnaire was to determine some contextual

knowledge from within the group that I was working with. In this manner, the

questionnaire was viewed as a guide to the particular situation that I was working

in. It should not be viewed or read as a general questionnaire. Its function was to

help me understand better the views of the people I had been working with.

In other words, I have examined the hypothesis in which the students, even

if they had taken programmes about art and science, had incomplete or little

knowledge or understanding of intrinsic characteristics of art and science.

Considering the ages of the students who participated in the programme and their

ability to answer, closed (forced) choice-format was used for collecting

information such as understanding or knowledge about science, particularly DNA,

and preference about interesting fields in science. I used this particular structure

because this format is easy to fill in, record and analyse results quantitatively, and

report results, although more comprehensive responses and results can be

obtained by open format (Leung 2001).

Furthermore, differential scales type, for example 3, 2, 1, 0 for interesting,

interesting but difficult, not interesting and difficult, respectively, was applied to

determine the overall tendency within each group and whole groups. To minimise

bias of responses or non-responses, the questions were established by the

following rules, 1) short and simple sentence, 2) precise question, 3) from general

to particular (top-down or narrow-down), 4) from easy to difficult. To obtain valid

responses or maximise the proportion of subjects answering, I also gave lectures

about the substantial necessary knowledge about science, and explained the

purpose of this survey prior to in issuing the questionnaire (Barton 1958).


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Admittedly, the results of the survey are not statistically representative.

Also, the nature of the questions is simplistic. I felt this was necessary, given the

differing age groups I was working with, and that the questionnaire was simply a

way of focusing views and thoughts. This was a very specific group of students

and as such the value of the survey was localised. Since the group was

predominantly engaged in ‘art’ activities, this would further shift the results of a

survey. However, I felt it would be helpful to look at the results of the survey in

order to understand how this group of students felt about and understood both the

possibilities of science and art in collaboration and how each separate subject was

viewed as an autonomous element. For the purposes of information-giving I have

placed all the responses and analyses in the appendices.

The questionnaire can be categorised into three parts: the first part

includes general questions concerning science and art (Table 3); how they think

about the two different subjects and what kind of subject they are interested in;

how they think about DNA structure and so on. The second part is directly related

to Sci-Art areas. The third part surveyed what they think about the intrinsic

meaning of science and art.


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Table 3 Questionnaire

No Questions

1 What do you think about science?

2 Which areas of science are you most interested in?

3 Have you seen the structure of DNA before this class?

4 When you see the DNA structure, what does the structure remind you of?

5 What do you think about the structure?

6 Do you agree science will improve human life in the future?

7 What do you think about art?

General question about science and art

8 Which kinds of visual arts do you prefer to express your ideas?

9 Do you agree art can help people to understand science?

10 Do you agree science can have new artistic agendas?

11 Do you agree that collaboration between art and science is necessary and attractive?

12 Do you agree Sci-Art improves the communication between two different areas?

Relationship betw

een science and art

13 Do you agree both science and art contribute to the shaping of the future in contemporary society? U

nderstanding concept of science and art 14

Mark A for art, S for Science, and B for both in the following elements that represent characteristics of Art or Science, or both:

careful observation, creativity, use abstract models to understand the world, aspire to create works that have universal relevance, seeks aesthetic response, emotion and intuition, visual or sonic communication, seeks knowledge and understanding, reason

6.4 Discussion

In general, the results show that people think that science will improve our

life, and that art can allow people to become more familiar with science. In many

ways this bears out the intentions of the Wellcome Trust in its belief that art can


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bridge science to people and give insight to science itself. Consequently,

collaboration between the two subjects is desired, and Sci-Art could facilitate the

processes. However, the interactive movements of science and art are still

considered as unfamiliar or foreign things to us, though the majority of people

think the movement would be beneficial for science and art, as well as our society

in general.

Stephen Wilson described the differences and similarities between art and

science in his book, Information Art (Wilson 2002 p18-20). His analysis is

summarised in Table 4. As I discussed in the previous chapter (Art and Science),

it is not simple to define the concepts of art and science. However, I think that

Wilson’s studies give convincing answers to many questions in regard to their

differences and similarities. As he indicates, creativity is an important value not

only in science but also art.

Table 4 Differences and similarities between art and science (adapted from Wilson, 2002).

Art Science

Seeks aesthetic Seeks knowledge and understanding

Emotion and intuition Reason

Idiosyncratic Normative

Visual or sonic communication Narrative text communication

Evocative Explanatory

Values break with tradition Values systematic building on tradition

and adherence to standards

Both Art and Science

Value the careful observation of their environments to gather information through

the senses.

Value creativity

Propose to introduce change, innovation, or improvement over what exists.

Use abstract models to understand the world.

Aspire to create works that have universal relevance.


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In my survey, most students (81%) thought that creativity is only found in

art, and only 19% suggested that both art and science have creativity. Whilst

understanding that this is not a statistically representative survey, it does suggest

the dominance of creativity as associated with art. This result implied that they did

not fully understand the creativity of science. This view of creativity is likely to

be caused by misunderstanding the activities of science and a common tendency

to separate art and science; probably most people tend to think of creativity almost

exclusively in terms of art and aesthetic creativity (Westland 1969). However, as

has been noted earlier (Chapter 1), human creativity is a basis of both art and

science, which in turn contributes to our understanding of nature, reality and


According to C. W. Taylor’s study, Various approaches to and definitions

of creativity, there are more than 60 different definitions of creativity (Taylor

1988). Among them, the most widespread conception of creativity is that it is a

product with novelty and usefulness. Thus creative activities result in producing

or bringing about something partly or wholly new, investing an existing object

with new perspective, imagining new chances that were never conceived of before

and performing and producing something in a different new manner.

Consequently this conception can be applied to different objectives, such as a

person, a product and a process (Taylor 1988, p. 99-121; Rhodes 1961). With

regard to this point, I hope to have shown that science is one of the creative

human activities.

6.5 Conclusions

Up to now we have looked at various aspects of collaboration between art

and science for the purpose of education. The question then arises as to why

students are confused or misunderstand the activities of art and science. One

probable reason is the tendency to separate art and science that has been going on

since the Renaissance gave way to the modern age and art and science began to

separate. E. O. Wilson (1999) indicated in his book, Consilience: The Unity of

Knowledge, that the gap described by C. P. Snow between two cultures of the

sciences and the humanities, including art, continues to exist today. For these


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reasons, I am convinced that to gain a better understanding of one subject, two

different disciplines should be learned at the same time in school, comparing their

similarities, differences, and interactions.

Figure 34 The necessity of collaboration between science and art in education.

As shown in Figure 34 , science, art and education have not only their own

domains in our culture where human activities are reflected, but also intersecting

domains. I would like to close by proposing that Sci-Art projects can be adopted

as a new bridging discipline in education to improve communication between art

and science, and to help understand their intrinsic and extrinsic conceptions.

Taken together, my research, including collaborative artworks with

students and analysis of students’ responses about this project, lays the foundation

for future work or studies on the benefits of collaboration and how we can

understand and discuss the gap between science and art.

I will also present my sculptures at the Centre for Effective Learning in

Science (CELS) at Nottingham Trent University in December 2007. CELS is

dedicated to creating a more relevant, accessible and achievable image for science

within both the higher education and school communities. In this exhibition, my


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works as part of my PhD studies show how science can be creative, beautiful and

inspirational as well as explore our lives and culture through the medium of

sculpture. This exhibition is planned to support the strengths of a creative

Nottingham (appointed as science city).

In the next chapter, I will introduce my artwork as the outcome of my

research. As Sci-Art is new movement in art, I will attempt to prove how Sci-Art

can be a powerful tool for communication with my sculptures and exhibitions

during my PhD course.


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Chapter 7

Art exhibitions based on interdisciplinary approaches to

science and art

7.0 Introduction

In this chapter, I would like to introduce my artwork, in which I attempt to

celebrate the beauty of DNA structure with an aesthetic view. Also, I hope to

demonstrate how artworks exploring DNA can evoke meaningful speculation in

the audience about the relationships between art and science, and to communicate

this to scientists and artists, as well as the public. During my practice-based PhD

research, I had several exhibitions and projects that were held in art galleries or

public spaces in the United Kingdom as well as in Korea.

Before exploring my artworks in detail, I would like to mention briefly

how I became interested in DNA structure as an art subject and as an expression

of natural beauty and the intrinsic meaning of DNA structure and biotechnology.

There are two significant inspirations: one is that I married a biotechnologist, Dr

Seog Hyung Kim, who taught me the detail of DNA structure and discussed with

me other issues relating to biotechnology. The other inspiration is Endless Column

made by Constanitin Brancusi in 1907-8. When I learned about DNA structure in

1995, I was surprised by the similarity in shape and idea between endless column

and DNA structure.

The Endless Column is composed of 16 modular elements of copper-

coated steel, consolidated by a steel substructure. There are in fact 15 complete

modular elements, the 16th constituting two half-elements, at the base and the

summit of the assemblage. The basic modular element of the Endless Column

consists of two square-based pyramids, truncated, or “decapitated,” at the top, and

joined at their widest parts. The column itself was assembled by joining the

truncated heads of the modular elements.


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Radu Varia said that the modular elements can be theoretically extended to

create a linking relationship between ground and sky, or between humanity and

the universe:

As a result, the modular elements that composed the

Endless Column underwent a slight “in-breathing,”

comparable to invisible human and cosmic inhalation (Varia

1995, p. 238).

Brancusi’s only completed monumental space was the Tîrgu-Jiu Complex

in Romania, inaugurated on 27 October 1938. The Endless Column is one of the

most important sculptures there. The whole space was intended to be a votive and

funerary monument in memory of the soldiers who died during World War I.

Other sculptures include the Table of Silence (a circular table surrounded by

twelve circular hour-glass-shaped stools) and the Gate of the Kiss (flanked by

stone benches placed on each of the short sides). In its intentions Brancusi’s

monumental circuit at Tîrgu-Jiu is comparable to the original goal of the early

Egyptian dynasties thousands of years before. In their sculpture and architecture

the Egyptians pursued an imperial, solar interpretation of their own destiny – a

struggle to control the whole of space. The resurgence of ancient Egyptian themes

in Brancusi’s later work is an indication of his vision as he explained in the

following comments:

A work of art expresses what escapes submission to

death. […] this sculpture belongs to all time for I have stripped

the essential form of all the features which could link it to an

epoch (Varia 1995 p. 103).

It is an important point that both the Endless Column and DNA structures

involve ideas of how we view life: Endless Column is a poetic metaphor, but

DNA structure is a fundamental material of life. The structure of repetition is an

important element to express endless desire. It wants to continue forever. Both the

Endless Column and DNA structure have associations with mortality and

immortality: DNA is present in all living things, and all living things die.


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Brancusi’s sculpture is partly a monument to the dead. On the other hand, DNA is

what survives us after we die, because it perpetuates the species. Similarly,

Endless Column stands also as a memorial to the continuity of life.

Morphologically, the repetitive structure and continuity reminded me of

human endless curiosity, and eternal life. The reason why DNA and

biotechnology fascinates people is directly related to this curiosity. Thus, in my

work, I intended to express this view of the structure of DNA and life using

sculptural installation, and to evoke imagination and curiosity among spectators or

participants. In this way, I aim to provide a new approach to understanding the

two different disciplines, which can allow artists and scientists to grasp our

uncertain world.

7.1 Art Exhibitions and Projects

The aim of this chapter is to explore the ways in which my artworks are

conceived, developed, processed, and finally expressed. My work can be

categorised into five themes:

1. Representation of DNA structure as a celebration of nature

2. Conception of DNA and visualisation

3. Collaboration with scientists and exhibition for the public

4. Exploring reality of DNA with fractal images

5. Sci-Art in education.

These themes represent the development of my art practice through this

research project, and each will be discussed in detail in the following sections.

7.2 Representation of DNA structure as a celebration of nature

My solo sculpture exhibition, DNA Structure and Human Desire, was

shown in the 1851 Gallery, Nottingham, UK, from 8th-30th November, 2004, and

was sponsored by Nottingham Trent University, Bonington Gallery, and the Arts

Council UK. The works were not replications of DNA structure but a personal

perspective on DNA as a cultural icon. Professor John Newling described my

works in the exhibition pamphlet:


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She is inspired by visualisations of the molecular

structure of the phenomenon of DNA. But this is not to imply

that Kim’s sculptures are replications of the double helix. They

are expression of the form wedded to notions of abstraction

and explorations that seek to dissect the twisted ladder as a

means of personal expression whilst giving cognition to the

iconic nature of her subject (Kim 2004).

I was fascinated by the implications of the discovery of DNA for the

future of humankind, and during the first year of my research, I started to express

the double helix as a sculptural form. The use of sculptural media to create

artworks is significantly informed by the traditions of sculptural practice itself. I

chose to start by creating columns, and consequently needed to explore the use of

the column motif in sculpture. Despite its antiquity, the classical order is still part

of the contemporary vocabulary, and it has been subsequently enriched in

European medieval art in the practice of fabrication and decoration in architectural

settings. The research considered the relationship between the form and content of

sculptured columns.

With regard to materials, John Newling mentioned:

Seong-Hee generally works in wood and stone:

materials of permanence, materials of past generations.

Perhaps she pursues marble and ash in the knowledge that her

subject, whilst microscopic and fluid in nature is of all of us, an

odd kind of absolute permanency that has always been us, but

until 1953 was not visualised (Kim 2004).

I make sculptures in wood and stone, which are materials of permanence

and of past generations. Using a traditional method like wood and stone carving to

express the subject of DNA, I produced a very special form of structure in my

sculptures which are at one and the same time abstracted testaments to the

visualisation of what we are.


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In addition to this exhibition, I also developed a website in connection

with my DNA Structure and Human Desire exhibition.5 The website displayed

digital imagery to contextualise photographs of my sculpture and replace an

architectural setting with a virtually constructed space inhabited by other scientific

images. To explain my works in more detail, I will review my thought processes

in relation to the creation of seven sculptures that were installed in the 1851


7.2.1DNA Desire and DNA Endless 2004

DNA consists of phosphorus, oxygen, nitrogen, carbon, and hydrogen.

These elements are joined to each other with hydrogen bonds6 and covalent

bonds7, and can be visualised with ball-and-stick models8 that show the different

size of each molecule. In these sculptures, I intend to express DNA as an iconic

structure with a repeating helix form which can be interpreted as an endless

column. With repeating forms and simplification of the very beautiful double

helix, I described DNA in 3-dimentional and voluminous form rather than the

linear form shown in Odile Crick’s original drawing (Watson and Crick, 1953).

In two of the sculptures from the exhibition – titled DNA Desire (Figure

35) and DNA Endless 2004 (Figure36) – the ball model is used as a motif. Using

two different materials (limestone and ash wood), I attempted to explore their

different textures. Both the materials and DNA originated from nature. Stone, for

example, is firm, strong and hard; in contrast, wood is soft, warm and flexible

under certain conditions. The two different materials in my sculptures are meant

to represent the difference between male and female, which are determined by our

5 The website can be found on 6 Hydrogen bond: week bond in which a hydrogen atom is shared by 2 toher atoms, an important bond in many large biological molecules in stabilising secondary and tertiary structure and in the binding of substrate to enzyme.( Eleanor Lawrence ed., Henderson’s dictionary of biological terms 11th ed.,1995) 7 Covalent bond: a form of chemical bonding that is characterized by the sharing of pairs of electrons between atoms. In short, attraction-to-repulsion stability that forms between atoms when they share electrons is known as covalent bonding. 8 Ball-and-stick models are 3D or spatial molecular models which serve to display the structure of chemical products and substances or biomolecules.


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DNA. Scientists’ visualisation using the ball-and-stick model is unable to show

the difference in character between men and women in the structure of DNA.

7.2.2 GM (DNA modification) and GM (Genetic modification)

Lynn Gamwell, director of the Art Museum at the State University of New

York, pointed out that recently many artists have explored questions around

applied science or biotechnology (Gamwell 2003). I was concerned about genetic

modification (GM) technology because my husband Dr Kim was working on a

GM research project at Nottingham University from 1997 to 2004, in which he

introduced DNA recombination techniques.

Since the 1970s, genetic engineering has dramatically developed. At

present, many genetically modified products such as rice and corn are sold in

markets. These genetically modified products are made by DNA recombination

techniques that introduce and remove target genes on original genes using cutting

by restriction enzyme and insertion by DNA ligase.

To express DNA recombination techniques as an artist, I used the ideas of

cutting and ligation (familiar to molecular biologists) to shape my sculptures

(shown in figure 37 and 38). The two different styles of helix – the cubic and the

round shape – are heterogeneous, not hom*ogeneous. They are intended to show

the diverse characteristics of DNA and to make the audience think about the many

implications of this new science which has potential implications for the future of

human life. The previous sculptures were meant to highlight the organic nature of

DNA, whereas these sculptures focus on the unnatural character of genetic

modification technology, which is represented by the cubic strand of the helix.

However, I did not want to break away from the natural beauty inherent in the

DNA double-helix. When I make these works, I always think about the contrast

and harmony between nature and technology, art and science, male and female,

life and death.


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7.2.3 DNA Sea Shell

As a basic unit or element of living organisms, DNA can be found

everywhere. In this sculpture, I explored the similarity between DNA structure

and a natural creature, in particular, sea shell. I think it is worth noting again that

similarity and ubiquity can explain why the double helix has become a prevailing

cultural icon.

Sea shells are commonly found on beaches, but also in the form of fossils

that can be used for studying periods of natural history that predate human life on

earth. I would like to describe the beauty of sea shells as a metaphor for genetic

information passed from generation to generation. My DNA Sea Shell (Figure39)

sculpture explores these themes through the structure of DNA as a spiral shape in


Whilst looking for examples of spiral shapes in nature, I found a book

called Curve of Life (1979) by Theodore Andrea Cook, who was an English writer,

editor and Olympic swordsman. He also wrote another book called Spirals in

Nature and Art (1903) which includes a great number of spiral forms, both

organic and artificial. Martin Kemp (2006) pointed out that a central thesis in

Cook’s book is that the logarithmic spiral characteristic of shells and phyllotaxis9

was associated with the designs of nature and art:

For Cook, the true artist or architect assumed a special

role in the revelation of the central truths of natural design,

since the insightful artist’s perceptual system was ‘of a more

sensitive fibre’ than that of ordinary mortals (Kemp 2006 p.


In 1982, D.S. Fensom wrote a review of Curve of Life in the art journal

Leonardo. He explained that Cook discovered beauty in the spirals of living

things after he had come upon a spiral staircase at the Royal Palace of Blois. He


9 The arrangement of leaves on a plant stem.


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Good Art, like Life, suggests T. A. Cook, is that which

possesses curves, usually spirals, never quite mathematically

perfect, yet exquisitely combining function with form. (Fensom


Artists, including me, have been moved or inspired by deeply-underlying

natural laws. Especially with the development of technology, we are able to know

that the structure of DNA has a spiral form. I believe that artists interested in

nature should attempt to reflect the laws of structure and growth exemplified

throughout organic life.

I chose to use wood to make this sculpture of a seashell because the annual

growth rings that are present in wood are also to be found in sea shells. The wood

was coloured with blues and greens (sea colours) and it was also coloured by

burning with a blow-torch, in order to represent the passage of time during the

shell’s life under water.

7.2.4 DNA Connection

In this sculpture (Figure 40), I used two different colours of stone: one was

creamy limestone, the other was a black-stone, to contrast between each helix and

to represent sperm and egg or man and woman. I carved each stone into a helix

and put them both together to form a double helix. The sculpture was inspired by

the process of fertilisation, in which each germ cell such as sperm and egg is fused

and DNA recombination occurs. Originally, sperm and egg have half the genetic

material (or information) compared to other somatic cells. Thus through

fertilisation, the chromosomes share genetic material with each other and together

they combine to form a whole chromosome again. This event is the beginning of

living things and continuity of life. I would like to articulate the biological

connection of people through this conception of DNA.


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7.2.5 DNA Tombstone

All living things are mortal; their DNA lives on after death. DNA

Tombstone (Figure 41) explores this aspect of life. All living cells produce protein

for maintaining life processes. To do this, DNA is wrapped around histones10, into

a ball-shaped octamer structure, which have to be unravelled to transcribe genetic

information. In my sculpture, I explored this process of unravelling packed DNA

in the transcription event in order to reflect the mortal and immortal aspects of life.

It is ironic that DNA is the basic unit of organisms that will pass away someday,

and yet these mortal and temporary beings can hand down their genetic material

in a continuing process. In this way, DNA Tombstone reflects this duality of life.

Richard Dawkins observes the relationship between the body and genes in

his book The Selfish Gene (1989):

The genes are the immortals, or rather, they are defined

as genetic entities that come close to deserving the title. We, the

individual survival machines in the world, can expect to live a

few more decades. But the genes in the world have an

expectation of life that must be measured not in decades but in

thousands and millions of years … They march on. That is

their business. They are the replicators, and we their survival

machines. When we have served our purpose we are cast aside.

But genes are denizens of geological time: genes are forever

(Dawkins 1989, p. 34-35).

In this section, I have given an account of the seven sculptures shown in

the DNA Structure and Human Desire exhibition. Its main purpose was to explore

the DNA structure and to reflect my personal view of the post-genomic era and

the iconic nature of my subject. I do not aim to merely replicate the images of

DNA but to interpret the double helix through abstract objects.

10 Histone: any one of a set of simple basic proteins rich in arginine and lysine, bound to DNA in eukaryote chromosomes to form nucleosomes ( Eleanor Lawrence ed., Henderson’s dictionary of biological terms 11th ed.,1995)


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Figure 35 DNA Endless Desire (Seonghee Kim, 2003, Ash, 100x25x25cm)


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Figure 36 DNA Endless (2004). (Seonghee Kim, 2004, Limestone, 100x17x17cm


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igure 37 DNA Modification (Seonghee Kim, 2004, Limestone, 150x25x25cm)


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Figure 38 GM (Genetic modification) (Seonghee Kim, 2003, Ash, 100x17x17cm


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Figure 39 DNA Seashell (Seonghee Kim, 2004, Ash, 120x30x30cm)


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Figure 40 DNA Connection (Seonghee Kim, 2004, Limestone and Black-stone, 120x15x15cm


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Figure 41 DNA Tombstone (Seonghee Kim, 2004, Mix, 200x40x10cm)


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7.3 The Adventure of the Double Helix

This exhibition was inspired by scientists’ drawings from the 2003

conference at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, which was described in chapter 3.

The drawings showed the scientists’ concepts of DNA, and were displayed on the

website of the science journal Nature 11 . I was surprised by the variety of

visualisations, and my curiosity about the scientists and their research was the

inspiration and starting-point for my exhibition The Adventure of the Double


The exhibition opened in Biocity, Nottingham, from 18th-24th September,

2005. It was sponsored by Art and Business, Biocity, Bionex, and Nottingham

Trent University. The exhibition included drawings of concepts of DNA by artists,

scientists and other professionals, together with my copper relief and artworks and

carvings. The exhibition was an attempt to communicate with the public different

understandings of the conception and visualisation of DNA structure.

In collecting the ten works for the exhibition, I found that both scientists

and artists use diagrams and drawings as part of their research processes in order

to visualise their conceived ideas and to communicate the concepts with the public.

I am interested in how scientists use diagrams in their research and how artists

visualise their ideas through drawing. The exhibition reveals that both diagrams

and drawings are vehicles to transfer or develop thoughts from the imagination to

an end product.

I investigated the idea that imagination is essential to the process of

interpretation by conducting an experiment: I asked artists, scientists and other

experts in their field to express their thoughts about DNA using drawing in order

to analyse the relationship between their drawings and their knowledge of the

concept of DNA. The drawings are illustrated in Figure 42-44.

What I found from their drawings is that their own area of expertise was

reflected in their drawing, for instance, Professor Keith Campbell, who cloned



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Dolly the Sheep, drew a sheep with twisted lines reminiscent of the DNA helix.

Sound artist Andrew Brown produced a quick line drawing of the helix which

suggested the fluidity of sound.

I interpreted the drawings in a new artwork, a relief on copper sheets

which were mounted onto sheets of mahogany (Figure 45-46). The drawings were

transferred to the copper which was then shaped using the pointing technique.

After the copper was attached to the mahogany, the wood dried over time and

began to warp, which changed the shape of the copper. This was an unintentional

effect, but the end result added to the appeal of the polished copper surfaces. The

reliefs were shown with other pieces of my work in the Biocity exhibition, which

is concerned with the exploration of DNA and with people’s perceptions of the

building blocks of life.

I chose the Biocity science business space as the location for this

exhibition because, unlike a dedicated art gallery space, it provides an opportunity

for people to see my work in a real-life situation. This exhibition was partly

sponsored by the Art and Business organisation, and in 2005 they selected me to

receive the ‘New Partnership’ award, which is given to the best artists who have

worked with a company or business.


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Dr. Glenn Crocker Andrew Brown Sonic Artist Nottingham Trent University

Chief Executive Biocity

Professor Jerry Robert Head of Plant Sciences DivisionThe University of Nottingham

Professor John Newling Artist, Professor of Art &DesignNottingham Trent University

Figure 42 Drawings of concepts of DNA for the exhibition The Adventure of the Double Helix.


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Professor Keith H S Campbell Division of Animal physiology The University of Nottingham

John Peace Chairman of the Board of Governors, Nottingham Trent University Group Chief Executive, GUS plc

Roger Hursthouse Professor Neil Gorman Governor, New College

Nottingham Vice chancellor Nottingham Trent University Director of Three Score Ltd

Figure 43 More drawings for The Adventure of the Double Helix


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Dr. Steve Beasley Chief Executive of East Midlands Bioscience Exchange

Professor Simon Lewis Head of Art & Design and the Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University

Figure 44 More drawings for The Adventure of the Double Helix


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Figure 45 Drawing by John Peace and relief based on the drawing.

Figure 46 Relief based on these drawings


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7.4 Life is Endless Desire

A Sci-Art exhibition entitled Life is Endless Desire was displayed as part

of the Korean Science Festival 2005 from 12th to 21st August 2005 in Daejon,

South Korea, and was supported by Korea Science Foundation (KSF), the British

Council in Korea, and Nottingham Trent University.

During my PhD research, I entered a Sci-Art project to the Korea Science

Festival 2005 organized by KSF. The purpose of the project was to collaborate

with the scientist Professor Keith Campbell, and to demonstrate how artworks

exploring DNA can evoke meaningful speculation about the relationships between

art and science. My proposal was accepted by the Korea Science Foundation and

exhibited at the festival.

In 1996, Dolly the sheep was created, not by normal fertilisation (fusion of

egg and sperm), but by a team of scientists led by Dr. Ian Wilmut and Keith

Campbell who cloned her from the cell of an adult sheep. They injected the cell

into a sheep egg from which they had removed the nucleus, replaced the egg into

the mother and left it to develop naturally. Their technique could bring about the

possibility of human cloning. But the true power of cloning will be realised when

it is combined with genomics and genetic engineering. It truly opens up the

possibility of designer animals and babies and potentially gives us control over

living systems.

These developments have inspired the work in my exhibition Life is Endless

Desire, which comprises two test-tubes – a small one contained by a larger one.

The larger tube is like the cellular membrane, and the smaller is like the nucleus.

Inside the tubes stands a stone helix, like DNA inside the nucleus. Written in the

stone are sequences of the letters A, T, C, G, which denote the base components

of DNA. The complex genetic characteristics of every living thing can be written

in sequences of these letters. It is reminiscent of the biblical book of Genesis,

where ‘In the beginning was the word’. Words are essential to human


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explanations of life, so too are forms and colours. Geneticists can also map out

sequences of A, T, C, G, by giving a colour value to each letter.

Anthony Crabbe, a lecturer at Nottingham Trent University, described my

work in the exhibition catalogue as having a deep understanding of nature versus


Seong-Hee looks at the extent to which experience is a

defining feature of what we call individuality. However alike

human clones may be, if they have fundamentally different life

experiences, we should expect them to have quite different

personalities that will contribute quite differently to society

overall. In other words, our lives may still be driven more by

our thoughts and sentiments than by genetic algorithms. These

ideas raise the traditional debate about nature and nurture,

which confronts every parent of a child that carries their genes

and their hopes (Kim 2005).

The exhibition included works by me and my brother, SeongHeon Kim, a

ceramicist from Korea and myself. As can be seen in figure 52, around the central

sculpture are masks that are very similar, but not the same. SeongHeon Kim made

hundreds of masks by casting his face. In his mask works, he explored the idea

that cloned animals are not absolutely the same; even clones are individuals.

The exhibition focused on the DNA structure model in terms of positive

attitude towards genetic engineering amongst the general public. This installation

addresses the question of social and cultural issues of genetic engineering and

animal cloning. I collaborated with Keith Campbell, professor of the University of

Nottingham, who produced ‘Dolly the sheep’, and Anthony Crabbe. Campbell

accepted my offer to collaborate on my Sci-Art project for the Korean Science

Festival. I visited his laboratory and his PhD students, and was shown details of

cloning techniques, and how to spell words using a DNA codon program

(explained in detail below). From conversations with Campbell, I learned that


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cloned animals are not actually identical; this idea highlighted the role of nurture

as opposed to nature, which informs the themes in my artwork.

We gave several lectures to them at the exhibition on, a science TV

programme by KBS and some formal lectures at Korean universities. I believe

these communications allow people to consider art and science as one unit of

knowledge and understanding of human nature. Before this exhibition, Sci-Art as

we know it in the West was unknown in the Korean culture. The phrase ‘Sci-Art’

was used, but it referred to computer and internet-based art; it was associated with

technology as opposed to science. Anthony Crabbe introduced Life is Endless

Desire at the Sci-Art exhibition.

One image which gave me inspiration to build my art work Life is Endless

Desire was Leonardo da Vinci’s famous drawing of a foetus in the womb (Figure

47 a). When I looked at this picture, I imagined that if he knew about DNA at his

time, he would have used DNA to make his artwork. Martin Kemp mentioned that

the da Vinci drawing is a miracle of intense presentation and is replete with visual

analogies of a microcosmic kind (Kemp 2000). Kemp also said that the womb is

clearly not that of a human mother: the image of the womb has been adapted from

the beautiful drawing da Vinci made of his dissection of the gravid uterus of a

cow (Kemp 2000).

When I saw Foetus in the Womb and Foetus in the Womb of a Cow by da

Vinci (Figure 47a), I imagined a DNA structure in the womb instead of a human

figure. I imagined the womb as a cell (Figure 47 b), which inspired the main

artwork in the exhibition.


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Figure 47a Foetus drawing by Leonardo da Vinci and 47b Cellular structure

I used the DNA codon as my theme. Basically, amino acids12 are encoded

by three nucleotides, which are called a codon. For example, the sequence ATG

codes for the amino acid Methionine. The amino acid can be shown as the three-

letter abbreviation ‘Met’ or as the one-letter abbreviation ‘M’. Using this process

(Figure 48), this sequence of codons


GAA TCA ATA CGA GAA” translates into the title ‘LIFE IS ENDLESS


Figure 48 Translation of genetic code with one-letter abbreviations.

There are only 22 letters used to represent 22 different amino acids, so

there are 4 letters – J,O,U and X – which are not used. The four bases A, T, G, and

C make all living things from unicellular organisms to humans. This exhibition

12 Very small unit of living organisms; proteins consist of many amino acids.


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aimed to express the human desire to seek something, whether invisible or visible,

because scientists and artists have an endless curiosity with nature. I intended to

show human nature as having endless desire.

Richard Dawkins claims in his book, The Selfish Gene (Dawkins 1989),

that the genes formed by our DNA are structured solely to reproduce themselves

at any cost. In this sense, our genes appear to have an even more ruthless desire to

succeed than our own personalities. Before Dolly and the Genome Project, we

only had relatively limited powers over the processes of reproduction. But now,

by learning to write in a new language – the DNA code – we have greater

potential control over such genetic processes. This power also comes with great

responsibility (see discussion on eugenics in chapter 3).


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Figure 49 Idea sketches for Life is Endless Desire exhibitio


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Figure 50 Idea sketches for Life is Endless Desire exhibition


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Figure 52 Life is Endless Desire

Exhibited as part of the Korean Science Festival 2005 from 12th to 21st August 2005 in Daejon, South Korea.


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7.5 ART: Visual artists from the UK

ART, an exhibition of artists’ work from Nottingham Trent University was

exhibited at the Art Centre of Chunag-Ang University, South Korea as part of a

cultural exchange program with Nottingham Trent University, and was sponsored

by both universities. It was a group exhibition of artworks by fine artists from the

School of Art and Design at Nottingham Trent University.

My work in this exhibition was an installation exploring the theme of

‘endless DNA’ using a form of fractal. The term ‘fractal’ was coined by Benoit

Mandelbrot in 1975, and referred to self-similar objects such as clouds, coastlines

and plants (Mandelbrot 1982). The study of fractals was greatly developed by

Mandelbrot, which later became an important subject in science and mathematics.

A fractal as a geometric object has a fine structure, irregular shape, self-similarity,

and a simple and recursive definition. In addition, they are frequently considered

to be infinitely complex due to similarity at all levels of magnification (Falconer

2003). Fractal patterns can be found in the leaves in trees, the veins in a hand, or

the DNA molecule which is a double helix and repeating as well as self-

assembling. DNA assembles individual living creatures into larger structures.

In the exhibition, I installed two aquariums each containing a sculpture

and fish, located on opposite sides of the room (figure 54-55). Using one camera

located behind each of the sculptures, repetitive images of DNA structure were

transferred by projectors onto a screen that was positioned in the middle of the

two installations. Finally the screen showed two different DNA structures being

overlapped and repeated. DNA is not to be seen only as a chemical structure, but

also as a character that has a specific role within individual lives. Through the

shape of DNA structure in the aquarium where it coexists with live fish, I

attempted to express the beauty of DNA structure as a part of nature and as a

theme of life.

In this installation, I tried to show DNA as an irregular and repetitive

shape to represent its intrinsic attributes. The structure of DNA shown in Nature

(Figure 53b) is an ‘ideal’ image when compared to a picture of the structure


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revealed by scanning tunnelling microscope (STM)13 (Figure 53a). As Rhonda

Roland Shearer indicated, the STM image of DNA represents a direct imitation of

nature, echoing nature’s irregularities, whilst Odile Crick’s DNA diagram can be

seen as an antagonist of nature, an abstraction and idealisation transcending

nature’s imperfections (Shearer 1996).

Scientists such as Eugene Stanely, a physicist at Boston University,

Wentian Li of the Rockefeller University and Richard F. Voss of the EMB

Thomas J. Waston Research Centre, discovered scale-invariant fractal patterns in

the large-scale positions and seqeuencing of DNA’s four nucleotides (Yam 1992

and Amato 1992). In this sense, my artwork displayed fractal-like images of DNA

structure, and expressed the complexity of nature as irregular and repetitive but at

the same time having order in the complexity. I think these are significant

attributes of nature, which are echoed and renewed in my installation.

13 The scanning tunneling microscope (STM) is a non-optical microscope that scans an electrical probe over a surface to be imaged to detect a weak electric current flowing between the tip and the surface.


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Figure 53a STM image of DNA structure14 and Figure 53b Odile’s DNA drawing15

14 15


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Figure 54 Installation at Art exhibition


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Figure 55 Installed sculpture of DNA structure in aquarium and reproduced images on screen.


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7. 6 Laboratory

I was involved with another Sci-Art project, Laboratory, which was

performed at Trinity Catholic School, Leamington Spa, England from 5th Feb.

2007 – 19th Feb. 2007. I worked as a resident artist, and produced several art

works with students at key stage 3 (11 – 12 years old).

In this installation, I intended to represent DNA with natural materials and

items normally used in a laboratory. To do this, we needed to understand the

structure of DNA and discuss and review the meaning of DNA for our artworks.

Firstly, I showed the beautiful double helix structure, and how the structure can be

constructed from scientific and artistic view points. Secondly, we discussed he

theme of the installation. DNA is widely used for personal identification, and in

this respect, the installation explored personal identification in terms of DNA


I attempted to explore the relationship of nature and science in this project.

It was important to define the significant attributes of nature, even though every

day we are a part of nature. When I started the project, it was autumn and some

trees had begun to change the colour of their leaves: some were still green, and as

time passed, most of the trees lost their leaves, which then covered the ground.

We also looked at artificial materials, laboratory items such as test tube, Pasteur

pipettes, and culture dishes, which allowed us to become familiar with science and

technology (Figure 56).

In this installation, I created double helices with students. One helix made

of fallen leaves was a metaphorical expression of the cycles of life, growth and

death that are found in nature. Another helix was made of long acrylic tubes used

in science laboratories. These tubes were a metaphorical expression of the ways

that biotechnology research has touched our life and has raised moral and social

issues in our society (Figure 57a-b).

The main purpose of this project has been to explore the structure of DNA and to

reinterpret the conception of DNA with students.


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Figure 56 Installation Laboratory


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Figure 57a Part of installation ‘Laboratory’ 57b Students making installation


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7.7 Conclusions

The first theme of my work was concerned with aesthetic viewpoints of

DNA structure and scientific understanding. This was further developed in the

second theme which explored what DNA means to people and how they visualise

this conception. Finally, I attempted to collaborate with scientists and students to

communicate through art and science. Through these themes, I found that my

artworks are influenced by the sum of all my knowledge, study and experience. I

believe that artwork is a powerful tool for touching our emotion and opening new

thought. My work does not need verbal explanations, and does not have only one

correct interpretation. I have tried to make artworks with all my imagination and

knowledge to visualize a variety of themes.

These sculptures and exhibitions are the final outcome of my research

based on practice, and they also related to the chapters of this thesis as the

following table shows:

Table 5 The relation between exhibitions, themes and chapters

Artworks/Exhibitions Purposes Chapters

DNA Structure and Human

Desire 2004

Art 2006

Representation of the

double helix structure

Chapter2: DNA structure

Chapter3: DNA as cultural


The Adventure of Helix


Understanding and

visualisation of DNA


Chapter4: Visualization

DNA structure by scientists

Chapter5: Visualization

DNA by artists

Endless Human Desire


Laboratory 2007

Collaborative work for

education and public


Chapter6: Collaboration

between art and science in


Chapter 7: Interdisciplinary



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People have responded to my works in a positive way: many of my works

have been bought by various individuals and institutions. The table below lists all

my work that has been purchased for exhibition in science communities and

educational organizations:

Table 6 Purchase of my sculptures from science communities and educational organizations

Date of

purchase Sculpture Title Location


permanent DNA Endless BioCity, Nottingham, U.K


permanent DNA Connection BioCity, Nottingham, U.K


permanent DNA Tombstone

Bonnington Building, Nottingham Trent

University, U.K.


31/12/2007 Endless Human Desire

Korean Research Institute of Bioscience

and Biotechnology, Korea


permanent Desire

Trinity Catholic School, Warwickshire,



permanent Chromosome

Trinity Catholic School, Warwickshire,


I develop scientific elements using my knowledge and imagination to

make sculptures. The artworks are exhibited in galleries, science communities and

public spaces, and the audience are scientists, students and the public. My creative

process could be likened to the embryonic development from fertilisation to

foetus in Figure 58. The egg represents my artistic practice, and the sperm

represents science, which includes its images, texts, people and practices.


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Figure 58 Developmental processes of my art.

Art and science have important positions in our cultural contexts. However,

when they meet and function as a unit of knowledge like a foetus, they can inspire

each other and produce new things that never existed before. I believe that my

artworks presented in this chapter are a step toward a richer and more inclusive

understanding of the relationship between science and art. I would like to continue

to develop artwork showing the relationship between art and science.


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Chapter 8


8. 0 Thesis conclusion and further research questions

The success of biotechnology has changed our expectations of how long

we might live, and how we can deal with problems like disease and food supply.

Biotechnology expanded in the 1970s, but began with Watson and Crick’s

discovery of DNA structure in 1953. Biomedical and genetic research has

progressed by using knowledge from the technology of DNA. Since 1990, an

increasing number of artists have been inspired by biotechnology and the social

and moral issues that surround it. Sci-Art is the name given to this artwork that

uses scientific concepts, images or technology. It has been argued that Sci-Art

takes from science without giving back. My argument is that Sci-Art makes

contributions to society by:

• Acting as an aid to understanding difficult scientific concepts

• Adding to debate about the ethical issues surrounding science

• Increasing the effectiveness of education

Relating to each of these issues, my research questions were:

• What are the differences and shared approaches in the visualization

of DNA and biotechnology by artists and scientists?

• Why has the DNA structure become a cultural icon?

• What is the role of Sci-Art in contemporary society?

Each chapter of this thesis contributes to answering the research questions:

Chapter 1 defined art and science, discussed the similarity and differences

between art and science. It also discussed arguments of the benefits to each other,

and ended with an evaluation of the benefits of Sci-Art collaboration.

Chapter 2 explored the process of scientific discovery, focusing on Watson

and Crick’s discovery of DNA structure, and the ways in which they visualised it.


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There were two important points: one is that visual imagery contributed to many

important steps in the discovery of DNA structure. These include X-ray

diffraction photographs by Franklin, which gave Watson and Crick clues about

the double helix structure of DNA, and cardboard cut-outs by Watson, which

helped solve the problem of matching base pairs. Also, metal models of DNA

structure by Watson and Crick confirmed that their theory of the double helix was

correct. This chapter argues that imagination and knowledge are among the most

important aspects of scientific research, but that they are often unrecognised as


The second significant point is that developments in technology after 1953

have allowed scientists to visualize its structure in a variety of other ways. For

example, the new scanning tunnelling microscope (STM) reveals a very different

picture of DNA in which its structure is shown to be more irregular and lumpy in

reality than in previous visualisations.

Chapter 3 examined DNA as a cultural icon that represents biotechnology

and life science. There are three reasons why the double helix has become an icon:

Firstly, it is simple and beautiful to depict. Secondly, ideas about DNA as an

agent of propagation lead us to explore the origin of all living organisms, and to

question identity or individuality. Thirdly, in the globalized and capitalist world,

knowledge of DNA and genetics has been applied to agriculture, medicine and the

bio-technology industry.

In chapters 4 and 5, I discussed the visualization of DNA by scientists and

artists. There are differences and similarities: scientific visualization of DNA

structure functions as an indexical sign to explain information about who we are,

and is interpreted using analysed data. The interpreted model of DNA structure

concisely represents hypotheses or theories, and the structure is comprehended by

the scientific community.

The visualisation of DNA by artists is more conceptual. Artists have

interpreted DNA as themes of personal identity, monsters, transgenics, eugenics,

and commodity. Artists interact with science in three ways: Firstly, they have


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been inspired by scientific images found in journals and text books. Secondly,

they have collaborated with scientists to realise their concepts. Thirdly, they may

collaborate with the public or students to make artworks on science subjects and

scientific issues, in activities sponsored by institutions and scientific organizations.

Despite these differences between the scientific and artistic use of the

DNA icon, there are similarities too: art and science both involve creativity and

imagination, because they both need visualizations of their concept to

communicate with the public.

In chapter 6, I argued for the importance of collaboration between art and

science in education. Questionnaires about Sci-Art were carried out with students

from Trinity Catholic School. These two-part questionnaires were designed to

explore: 1) the question as to how students regard science and art, and 2) their

attitudes towards Sci-Art. The results from the questionnaires are significant for

analysing the gap between art and science because they supported Sci-Art as

beneficial to education.

As technology has developed such tools as microscopes and electronic

computers, science subjects have become more complicated and specialized. It

becomes more problematic to communicate with the public and students, who

may have difficulties understanding science subjects. Compared with science,

students think that art subjects are interesting and not so difficult. The results

showed that understanding of art and science by students was poor, but attitudes

towards Sci-Art were very positive. It indicates that Sci-Art could be a bridge

between art and science if from an early age students have more opportunities to

study the relationship between the two different disciplines.


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Figure 59 Benefit of collaboration of science and art in education

One role of Sci-Art is that it allows the public to understand complicated

science and technology more easily by illustrating or simplifying concepts, and by

raising social issues to inform what happens now or will happen later. As shown

in figure 59, science, art, and education are intersecting cultural domains. Sci-Art

projects can be adopted as a new bridging discipline in education to improve

communication between art and science, and help to understand their intrinsic and

extrinsic conceptions.

Chapter 7 introduced my own artworks as the outcome of my research.

The five objectives of my artwork were as follows:

1. To represent DNA structure as a celebration of nature

2. To aid understanding and visualisation of DNA structure

3. To collaborate with scientists and exhibit for the public

4. To explore the reality of DNA with fractal images

5. To use Sci-Art as an educational tool.

These processes developed in the sequence given above, but they also

feedback to and influence one another. The first step was to express aesthetic

viewpoints of DNA structure with scientific understanding. This was extended in

the second step by exploring what DNA means to people and how they visualised


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (147)

their conception. In the third stage, I understood how scientists’ visualisation

compares to that of art in the act of communication between scientists and the

public. The fourth stage revealed that fractal patterns are as common in nature as

DNA itself. The conclusion of the fifth stage is that science and art should be

taught at the same time in education.

I believe that nature and nurture are equally important to our cultural

identity, and that these two elements that shape our identities are like the two

backbones of DNA’s double helix (Figure 60). So, with this visual metaphor, Sci-

Art is similar to the base-pair connections between the two strands. In this way,

Sci-Art bridges the gap between nature and nurture, between scientific knowledge

and artistic culture.

Figure 60 Art and Science as a double helix, based on Odile Crick’s drawing of DNA structure that appeared in Crick and Watson’s 1953 paper.

I made 20 sculptures and 4 installations during my PhD. This creative

activity helped me to understand the relationship between art and science at a

deeper level. The exhibitions gave me an opportunity to meet people and talk

about the relationship between science and art. Collaborating with scientists in

the Korean Science Festival was significant because it strengthened my opinion

that Sci-Art can be a bridge between science and public, as illustrated in the figure



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The feedback I have received and the commissions that I have been

offered, demonstrate that my artwork has fulfilled its purpose to stimulate

discussion about DNA and the Sci-Art relationship in scientists, the public and

students. Many viewers mentioned that my artworks are unique and beautiful, and

that they had not thought about DNA in this way before they saw my work.

Scientists and scientific communities seemed to like my artworks because it offers

a different visualisation to the ones they see and use in their everyday work. As

Sci-Art is a new movement in art, people are still unsure about its role, but I

believe that my work allows people to understand how Sci-Art can be a powerful

tool for communication.

This research lays the foundation for future studies on the benefits of

collaboration and how we can fill the gap between science and art, and moreover,

which methodological approaches are needed in educational systems. During my

PhD research course, I have been involved in sculpture projects with a science

museum in South Korea. In further research, I will deploy much of the knowledge

that I have gained whilst researching for this PhD. I intend to build on the model

of Sci-Art as a bridge to understanding that has been developed in this research

project. I hope to conduct a case study of the Korean Science Museum, which will

explore the research question: what is the influence of artworks on scientific

communities and culture? Other possible avenues of research include the

question: what are the tendencies of Sci-Art activity in different cultures or

countries (for example, comparing U.K and South Korea)?


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1, Art and Science questionnaire (Trinity Catholic School)


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2, Art and Science questionnaire analysis

AYours Age: General Questionnaire 1. What do you think about science?

a. Difficult to understandڤ b. Interesting ڤ


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c. Not interesting ڤ d. Interesting but difficult ڤ

2. Which areas of science are you most interested in? a. Biology ڤ b. Physics ڤ c. Chemistryڤ d. ڤscience eromputC

3. Have you seen the structure of DNA before this class? a. Yes ڤ b. No ڤ

4. When you see the DNA structure, what does the structure remind you? a. Double helix ڤ b. Watson and Crick ڤ c. Human genome project ڤ d. Cloning ڤ e. Other, (please describe)

5. What do you think about the structure? a. Beautiful ڤ b. Dull ڤ c. Chemical structure ڤ d. Other, (please describe)

6. Do you agree science will improve human life in the future? a. strongly agree ڤ b. partially agree ڤ c. neither agree or disagree ڤ d. disagree ڤ

7. What do you think about art? a. Difficult to understandڤ b. Interesting ڤ c. Not interesting ڤ d. Interesting but difficult ڤ

8. Which kinds of visual arts do you prefer to express your ideas?

a. Painting ڤ b. Sculpture ڤ c. computing visualization ڤ d. installation ڤ e. if others, (please write down)

9. Do you agree art can help people to understand science?

a. strongly agree ڤ b. partially agree ڤ c. neither agree or disagree ڤ d. disagree ڤ

10. After taking this course including express your concepts of DNA with hard paper, which is your opinion about DNA?

a. still difficult ڤ b. less difficult ڤ c. interesting ڤ d. neither interesting or difficult ڤ

Questionnaire on specifics of Sci-Art 11. Do you agree science can be new artistic agendas?

a. strongly agreeڤ b. partially agree ڤ c. neither agree or disagree ڤ d. disagree ڤ

(Please briefly express why)


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12. Do you agree that collaboration between art and science is necessary and desirable? a. strongly agree ڤ b. partially agree ڤ c. neither agree or disagree ڤ d. disagree ڤ

13. Do you agree Sci-Art improves the communication between two different areas?

a. strongly agree ڤ b. partially agree ڤ c. neither agree or disagree ڤ d. disagree ڤ

14. Do you agree both science and art contribute to the shaping of the future in contemporary

society? a. strongly agree ڤ b. partially agree ڤ c. neither agree or disagree ڤ d. disagree ڤ

15. Mark A for art, S for Science, and B both in the following elements that represent

characteristics of Art or Science, or both

a. careful observation____ b. creativity____ c. use abstract models to understand the world____ d. aspire to create works that have universal relevance____ e. seeks aesthetic response____ f. is of emotion and intuition____ g visual or sonic communication____ h. seeks knowledge and understanding ____ i. is of reason____

Thank you!!!

Ethical policy: The information obtained through this questionnaire will be used in my research. No names are required.

a b c d total 3 5 4 123 4 1 2 107 6 4 4 21

12 15 6 16 49


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6 4 9 1925 36 15 35 111

1, what do you think about science

difficult interesting not

interesting intersting but

difficult 25.00 41.67 0.00 33.33 30.00 40.00 10.00 20.00 33.33 28.57 19.05 19.05 24.49 30.61 12.24 32.65

0.00 31.58 21.05 47.37 22.52 32.43 13.51 31.53

what do you think about science

diff icult30%

intersting butdiff icult28%

not interesting9% interesting


age a b c d tatal 11 6 3 3 0 12 12 6 0 3 0 9 14 16 2 5 0 23 15 27 8 13 0 48 16 12 2 7 1 22

total 67 15 31 1 114


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2, which areas of science are you most interested?

age biology physics chemistry 11 50.00 25.00 25.00 12 66.67 0.00 33.33 14 69.57 8.70 21.74 15 56.25 16.67 27.08 16 54.55 9.09 31.82

total 58.77 13.16 27.19

interesting area?




3, Have you seen DNA structure before?

age yes no tatal 11 10 2 12 12 8 2 10 14 19 1 20 15 42 6 48 16 18 0 18


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total 97 11 108

age yes no 11 83.33 16.67 12 80.00 20.00 14 95.00 5.00 15 87.50 12.50 16 100.00 0.00

total 89.81 10.19

have you seen the DNA structure before



age a b c d e 11 6 0 0 2 4 12 12 7 0 0 0 3 10 14 15 0 1 7 1 24 15 29 0 6 13 2 50 16 10 0 0 4 0 14

total 67 0 7 26 10 110


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4 When you see the DNA structure, what does the structure remind you?

age double helix Watson&Crick HGP cloning others

11 50.00 0.00 0.00 16.67 33.33 12 70.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 30.00 14 62.50 0.00 4.17 29.17 4.17 15 58.00 0.00 12.00 26.00 4.00 16 71.43 0.00 0.00 28.57 0.00

total 60.91 0.00 6.36 23.64 9.09

What does DNA structure remind you

double helix61%





age a b c d tatal 11 10 0 2 0 12 12 5 3 2 0 10 14 12 2 5 3 22 15 28 2 14 5 49


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16 8 1 9 0 18 total 63 8 32 8 111

5 what do you think about the structure?

chemical structure age beautiful dull others

11 83.33 0.00 16.67 0.00 12 50.00 30.00 20.00 0.00 14 54.55 9.09 22.73 13.64 15 57.14 4.08 28.57 10.20 16 44.44 5.56 50.00 0.00

total 56.76 7.21 28.83 7.21

what do you think about the DNA structure



chemical structure29%


age a b c d tatal 11 10 2 0 0 12 12 5 2 2 1 10 14 4 10 5 2 21 15 27 18 2 1 48 16 8 9 0 1 18


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (169)

total 54 41 9 5 109

6 do you agree science will improve human life in the future?

age strongly agree

partially agree neither disagree

11 83.33 16.67 0.00 0.00 12 50.00 20.00 20.00 10.00 14 19.05 47.62 23.81 9.52 15 56.25 37.50 4.17 2.08 16 44.44 50.00 0.00 5.56

total 49.54 37.61 8.26 4.59

Do you agree science will improve human life in thefuture?

strongly agree49%

partially agree38%



age a b c d tatal 11 2 7 1 2 12 12 0 7 2 1 10 14 3 12 0 7 22 15 4 33 3 10 50 16 0 11 4 3 18

total 9 70 5 23 112


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (170)

7 what do you think about art

age difficult interestingnot

interesting intersting but

difficult 11 16.67 58.33 8.33 16.67 12 0.00 70.00 20.00 10.00 14 13.64 54.55 0.00 31.82 15 8.00 66.00 6.00 20.00 16 0.00 61.11 22.22 16.67

total 8.04 62.50 4.46 20.54

what do you think about art?l



not interesting5%

intersting butdifficult


age a b c d tatal 11 2 6 1 2 11 12 1 5 2 1 9 14 5 13 3 0 21 15 13 26 8 8 55 16 4 4 4 5 17

total 25 54 18 16 113


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (171)

9 do you agree art can help people to understand science

age strongly agree

partially agree neither disagree

11 18.18 54.55 9.09 18.18 12 11.11 55.56 22.22 11.11 14 23.81 61.90 14.29 0.00 15 23.64 47.27 14.55 14.55 16 23.53 23.53 23.53 29.41

total 22.12 47.79 15.93 14.16

strongly agree22%

partially agree48%



age a b c d tatal

14 2 5 3 1 11 15 2 13 9 1 25 16 2 9 4 3 18

total 6 27 16 5 54


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (172)

11 science is new artistic agenda?

age strongly agree

partially agree neither disagree

14 18.18 45.45 27.27 9.09 15 8.00 52.00 36.00 4.00 16 11.11 50.00 22.22 16.67

total 11.11 50.00 29.63 9.26

science can be new artistic agenda?



strongly agree11%

partially agree50%

age a b c d tatal

14 1 5 3 2 11 15 1 18 9 0 28 16 3 9 4 2 18

total 5 32 16 4 57


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (173)

12 Do you agree that collaboration between art science is necessary and desirable?

age strongly agree

partially agree neither disagree

age strongly agree

partially agree neither disagree

14 9.09 45.45 27.27 18.18 15 3.57 64.29 32.14 0.00 16 16.67 50.00 22.22 11.11

total 8.77 56.14 28.07 7.02

strongly agree9%

partially agree56%



age a b c d tatal

14 4 4 2 2 12 15 6 13 8 0 27 16 3 7 5 3 18

total 13 24 15 5 57


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (174)

13 Sci-art improves the communication b/w science and art

age strongly agree

partially agree neither disagree

age strongly agree

partially agree neither disagree

14 33.33 33.33 16.67 16.67 15 22.22 48.15 29.63 0.00 16 16.67 38.89 27.78 16.67

total 22.81 42.11 26.32 8.77

improving communcation?

strongly agree23%

partially agree42%



age a b c d tatal

14 1 5 3 2 11 15 6 14 7 0 27 16 6 7 3 2 18

total 13 26 13 4 56


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (175)

14 contribution to the future

age strongly agree

partially agree neither disagree

age strongly agree

partially agree neither disagree

14 9.09 45.45 27.27 18.18 15 22.22 51.85 25.93 0.00 16 33.33 38.89 16.67 11.11

total 23.21 46.43 23.21 7.14

contribution to future


disagree7% strongly agree


partially agree47%

age art science both 14 11.11 22.22 66.6715 19.23 3.85 76.9216 0.00 16.67 83.33

total 11.32 11.32 77.36


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (176)

careful observation




15-b creativity

age strongly agree

partially agree neither

age art science both


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (177)

14 100.00 0.00 0.00 15 77.78 0.00 22.22 16 88.89 0.00 11.11

total 85.19 0.00 14.81





age art science both tatal

14 6 0 3 9 15 7 2 18 27 16 2 3 13 18


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (178)

total 15 5 34 54

15 using abstract models

age strongly agree

partially agree neither

age art science both 14 66.67 0.00 33.33 15 25.93 7.41 66.67 16 11.11 16.67 72.22

total 27.78 9.26 62.96

using abstract models


both63% science


age art science both 14 22.22 22.22 55.56 15 3.85 34.62 61.54 16 0.00 36.84 63.16

total 5.56 33.33 61.11


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (179)

aspire to creat works




age art science both tatal

14 2 0 7 9


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (180)

15 8 11 8 27 16 5 5 7 17

total 15 16 22 53

e seeks aesthtic response

age strongly agree

partially agree neither

age art science both 14 22.22 0.00 77.78 15 29.63 40.74 29.63 16 29.41 29.41 41.18

total 28.30 30.19 41.51

aesthetic response




age art science both tatal

14 8 0 1 9 15 17 2 8 27


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (181)

16 12 1 4 17 total 37 3 13 53

f emotion and intuition

age strongly agree

partially agree neither

age art science both 14 88.89 0.00 11.11 15 62.96 7.41 29.63 16 70.59 5.88 23.53

total 69.81 5.66 24.53

emotion and intuition




age art science both tatal

14 0 2 6 8


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (182)

15 6 2 18 26 16 2 5 11 18

total 8 9 35 52

15 visual and sonic communication

age strongly agree

partially agree neither

age art science both 14 0.00 25.00 75.00 15 23.08 7.69 69.23 16 11.11 27.78 61.11

total 15.38 17.31 67.31

visual and sonic communication




age art science both tatal

14 1 3 4 8


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (183)

15 2 8 17 27 16 1 7 10 18

total 4 18 31 53

15-h Seeks knowledge and understanding

age strongly agree

partially agree neither

age art science both 14 12.50 37.50 50.00 15 7.41 29.63 62.96 16 5.56 38.89 55.56

total 7.55 33.96 58.49

seeks knowledge and understanding




age art science both tatal

14 0 3 6 9


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (184)

15 2 6 21 29 16 0 5 11 16

total 2 14 38 54

15-i Which area is based on reason

age strongly agree

partially agree neither

age art science both 14 0.00 33.33 66.67 15 6.90 20.69 72.41 16 0.00 31.25 68.75

total 3.70 25.93 70.37

which area is based on reason





SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (185)


SEONGHEE KIM - IRep - [PDF Document] (2024)


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