By visualizing the past, we track the lasting implications of choices.

imprint is one of two pieces created as part of a Tisch Interdepartmental Grant-funded exhibition between media artists and microbiologists entitled Phenotypes.

Upon my introduction to the scientific study of C. elegans I was struck by the beauty of the worms and by the casual mention of DNA engineering that creates mutations. One mutant type of C. elegans moves in an entirely different way, rolling rather than slithering, from the naturally occurring organism. This is a consequence of DNA changes that can be introduced by scientists. During my visit in the lab that studies C. elegans, I observed trails left by the worms in bacteria lawn, as a metaphor for the consequences of choices, like the choice to engineer DNA in a particular way and, by that, to leave a permanent trace in the history of science. imprint is a study of the lasting effects of choices we make through the spatial representation of time. In a visual environment created with live video processing in Max MSP, we can visually investigate the lasting consequences of our actions.

  • Music: Sarah M. Ritch
  • Dancers: Lorena Delgado, Tyler DuBois, Fairul Zahid

imprint excerpt from Caitlin Sikora on Vimeo.