New York City's Community Biolab

Events > Suspect Inversion Workshop: BioInformatics and PCR Hacks

Suspect Inversion Workshop: BioInformatics and PCR Hacks

11:00 AM to 2:00 PM on Thursday, October 23; Friday, October 24; Saturday, October 25

Location: Genspace
Organizers: Nurit Bar-Shai

Suspect Inversion Workshop: BioInformatics and PCR Hacks
A Workshop with
Paul Vanouse

Thursday, Oct 23, 11am - 2pm,
Friday Oct 24, Saturday Oct 25, 2 - 5pm

Where: Genspace,
The MEx Building
7th Floor
33 Flatbush Avenue,
Brooklyn NY 11217

* Special members and student discount !!

For questions contact us at

Image Caption: "Relative Velocity Inscription Device" by Paul Vanouse, closeup, Photo by Axel Heise, 2011.

DNA is what makes us unique and different from other people. Today DNA fingerprinting is routinely used as evidence to profile suspects from a crime scene, result paternity tests or identity forensic material. Artist Paul Vanouse use cross-disciplinary art-science practices to hack common biology lab procedures and comment on these truth licensing machines.

Join us at Genspace for a three day Workshop with BioArtist Paul Vanouse.

In this workshop Vanouse will teach participants how to hack DNA fingerprinting practices step by step. First you will learn how to design your own primers. You will then learn how to use a PCR machine to amplify your results. Finally, you will learn how to run a Gel electrophoresis and stage your DNA bands to create your very own mischief DNA blueprints. No previous experience is necessary!

*Don't miss Paul Vanouse will give a Talk Friday, Oct 24nd, 2014 8pm! 

Image Caption: "Latent Figure Protocol" by Paul Vanouse, 2007

Today, DNA-based images are so authoritative that they have been called "Truth Machines", "God's blueprints" and "Gold standards" in the identification of suspects. In this workshop we will be re-appropriating DNA imaging - IN REVERSE. Usually scientists use imaging techniques to determine an organism’s genetic sequence, its size or its quantity. In this workshop participants will compose their own DNA sequence using an online databases and produce “staged” images: DNA bands that migrate on a gel to suit your creative whimsy, similar to the technique used in the artist's work "Latent Figure Protocol”. Each participant will be able to design their own primers, learn how to extract DNA, amplify their sample with a PCR reaction, analyze their results and finally, visualize their designs with an electrophoresis gel reaction.

Paul Vanouse is a Professor of Art at the University at Buffalo. He has been working in emerging media forms since 1990. Interdisciplinary and impassioned amateurism guide his art practice. His biological media experiments, and interactive installations have been exhibited in over 20 countries and widely across the US. Recent solo exhibitions include: Schering Foundation in Berlin (2011), Kapelica Gallery in Ljubljana (2011), Muffathalle in Munich (2012), and Beall Center at UC Irvine, California (2013). Vanouse has been specifically concerned with forcing the arcane codes of scientific communication into a broader cultural language. In "The Relative Velocity Inscription Device" (2002), he literally races DNA from his Jamaican-American family members, in a DNA sequencing gel, in an installation/scientific experiment that explores the relationship between early 20th Century Eugenics and late 20th Century Human Genomics. The double entendre of race highlights the obsession with “genetic fitness” within these historical endeavors. Similarly, his recent projects, “Latent Figure Protocol” (2007), “Ocular Revision” (2010) and “Suspect Inversion Center” (2012) use molecular biology techniques to challenge “genome-hype” and to confront issues surrounding DNA fingerprinting.

Find out more at Paul Vanouse >>

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