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Epizone V: Shifting identities.
EpiZone V was granted a dedicated status of STARTS Residency 2018/19
together with Tech Project RIVAS of 3IT Fraunhofer HHI, Berlin
The project is supported by 4 producers: University of Arts in Poznan, Iternational Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Warsaw, Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Polish Academy of Sciences, Art & Science Synergy Foundation
as an artistic inspiration:
The direct inspiration for the Epizone V icame from the research on the fundamental molecule of life - the RNA molecule from which, according to the RNA World hypothesis, the Big Web of Life evolved. RNA plays a key role in most cellular processes and the translation of the genetic information into proteins, thus is a key tool of biotechnology and bioengineering.
While the chemical structure of RNA resembles DNA, it rarely forms long double stranded helices but performs its unique biological roles thanks to the ability to form different spatial structures.
Thus RNA is not a static composition of “balls and sticks” but can be perceived as a dynamic labyrinth of all it's possible structural conformations that it has to “pass through” to achieve its final form defining its identity and function.
However some RNAs, called riboswitches, like a “molecular werewolf” are able to adopt not just one but two (or sometimes more) alternative structures, which can be completely different from each other, depending on environmental factors. More recently, it has been found that such shape-shifting is a common feature of many RNA molecules. Due to the fact that the RNA is the ancient biological molecule, a mechanism of the structural and functional variability of RNA can be considered as one of the primary mechanisms of variation of forms and functions of the living world.
The primordial variability encoded in the chemical structure of RNA is used as a conceptual platform for Epizone V Shifting Identities.
- Is identity then in fact a momentary state of data?
- or a transient “snap-shot” within a larger dynamical unfolding
- or a complex algorithm of different assembling of entangled data?
By manipulating the huge incommensurable amount of data, the interActor trans-forms molecular “states” and moves through different paths of the labyrinth: whereby creating his own multiple illusive identities.
impact of the targeted artistic project
The double helix of DNA, associated with stability, with continuity and determinism, become a cultural icon of the progress of civilization in the XX. century. RNA, as the expression of instability, diversity, changeability and multiplicity of possibilities, can become a key to open Pandora boxes or can become an icon of achievements and transformations of the XXI century. In this perspective, the proposed unique and pioneering artistic project will show to the public the cultural significance of the research on RNA and will raise the awareness of the power of RNA.