Opening next month at the Dilston Grove Gallery at GDP London is Music of the Spheres, an exhibition that uses bioinformatics to record music. Dr. Nick Goldman of the European Bioinformatics Institute has been working on new technologies for encoding large amounts of information into DNA. Collaborating with Charlotte Jarvis, the two have worked on installations of bubbles that would contain DNA encoded with music (the DNA is suspended in soap solution).
The music is provided by the Kreutzer Quartet, and the second movement of their new composition has been encoded into DNA for the installation. Visitors to the installation can be ‘bathed’ in music by moving through the bubbles that contain the music-encoded DNA. The installation will be accompanied by film as well as music, and was funded in part from a Kickstarter campaign (H/T Fact magazine).
The methods for encoding information will be helpful moving forward as it allows for the possibility of a more persistent data storage medium. While the bursting bubbles of the exhibition would release a cloud of vapor containing music on DNA, it’s possible that a future data cloud would rely on DNA instead of the kind of server farms we know today.