Eduardo Kac, "Transcription Jewels", glass, purified Genesis DNA, gold, wood, approximately 2" (5cm) each, 2001.

Transcription Jewels is a sculptural artwork comprised of actual Genesis DNA (inside a genie bottle with gold ornaments) and a gold cast of the Genesis protein. This "artist’s gene" was created by Kac by translating a sentence from the biblical book of Genesis into Morse Code, and converting the Morse Code into DNA base pairs according to a conversion principle specially developed by the artist for this work. By displaying the synthetic gene and its corresponding protein as coveted valuables, Transcription Jewels comments on the process of commodification of the most minute aspects of life. Both the synthetic gene in Transcription Jewels and its protein are not derived from a natural organism, but were first created specifically for Genesis (1998-99), which is a transgenic artwork that explores the intricate relationship between biology, belief systems, information technology, dialogical interaction, ethics, and the internet.


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