This is a study to explore what the first 256 characters of the Pfizer vaccine could sound like.
I came across this Spike-encoding contig assembled from BioNTech on Github. I discovered that DNA is a digital code. - unlike computers, which use 0 and 1, life uses A, C, G and U/T (the ‘nucleotides’, ‘nucleosides’ or ‘bases’).
I vocalised the idea with Dave (@dvstch ) - especially interesting to me is how similar DNA letters are to musical notes. Dave had a brainwave and interpreted the first three letters (A, C, G ) as notes and the T as a space. He patched these notes into his modified 303 & off the back of this, I've created a series of generative visuals which are audio reactive. Currently, the organism that distorts is driven by the audio, and reacts to the sound levels and filters - in this case echo and reverb. This study is a work in progress, we have currently produced one audiovisual track and debuted at the Interactive exhibition at the Lightbox gallery in Leicester, June 2021 (above).
The hardware for the gig at the Lightbox Gallery. Note the 303 used was the very affordable Behringer TD-3-MO
My visuals are an attempt to mimic the virus growing and attempting to bind to receptors called Fc receptors. The colour in this above animation represents the immune system, with the help of the vaccine firing into action to defend itself against a perceived threat. After a period of heavy activity, the immune system will then create the required antibodies, which help to engulf and destroys the virus.
This topic is especially interesting to me on a personal note has I have lived with an auto immune illness for the last two decades and during the Covid pandemic, I was categories by the UK government as being CEV. For a long time I have been very aware of my body reacting to something ( usually perceived foreign bodies ) - which would lead to a frenzied period of action, followed by periods of extreme fatigue. My visuals attempt to represent the immune system at work, though the use of a shifting colour, palette, increased size and erratic movement. The dormant immune system is represented by reduced size and colour and a more gentle movement.
Looking forward, we would like to develop this subject with more time / resources and explore what DNA could sounds like. Dave would like to properly convert DNA to midi files, this will give us scope to develop proper audio, visuals and for others to interpret / remix the DNA into other audiovisual / interact works - to be experienced in the visual and / or physical worlds. The work on this page is just the very start for us, of translating what DNA could sound like in other contexts.