Art and science are ways that we try to explain our place in the world and tackle unanswered questions. While they may seem to represent unrelated approaches to our understanding, they overlap in important ways that present opportunities to enhance both. Whether through paint brushes or petri dishes, the creativity, conceptualization, and discovery inherent to both art and science place them surprisingly close on the continuum of efforts to make sense of our world. Broad's artist-in-residence program allows leading scientists and forward-thinking artists to work, communicate, and learn together to benefit both science and art, spurring the creative thinking that drives innovation.
Chapter One: Melanin Images via Genetically-Modified Bacteria
By Lucy Kim
October 24, 2022-January 19, 2023
An exhibit in the Second Floor Connector Gallery and Stanley Building Lobby.
Register for a Public Gallery Tour with the Artist.
Since early 2019, while an artist in residence at the Broad Institute, Lucy Kim has been developing a process in collaboration with Broad scientists for creating images on paper with eumelanin. One of the main bio-pigments behind human skin, hair, and eye color, these differences in coloration are often used to justify ideas around race and color-based social hierarchies. Kim is exploring, materially and conceptually, what happens when images become visible through the same black and brown pigment that plays a key role in human coloration and appearance. Through an adaptation of the screen printing process, she transfers genetically-modified E. coli cells that produce melanin directly onto paper. The prints in this exhibition are the first finished works to come out of this process, marking the first chapter in ongoing research exploring the relationship between human vision, our biological and evolutionary frameworks, and social constructions.
Photo credit: Julia Featheringill
Images courtesy of the artist.