The Nucleus Project
“We are connected organically to everyone who has ever lived even to our enemies through the atoms and the oxygen we breath. Every atom in our body was once inside a star that exploded” Lawrence Krauss
Science and art challenge our views of realities. All my work is fueled by my curiosities in beginnings, beginnings of all sorts. Art is my way to make sense of the world. Art can be a tool for understanding and learning and can also function as a catalyst for dialogue and new ideas.
During a visit to my hometown Tuebingen in November 2014 I came across an article in the local paper about the first biolaboratory in the Schlosskueche, at the Castle Hohentuebingen, which was a part of the University of Tuebingen. There, in 1869, Friedrich Miescher did his first scientific studies into the nucleus and isolated DNA, which laid the ground for genetic research.
From 2012-2015 I was the artist-in-residence at the Broad Institute of Harvard University and Massachusetts Intsitute of Technology. The Broad is known for its groundbreaking genetic research, and specifically for sequencing the human genome. This unexpected connection led to the idea of the Nucleus Project, combining the beginnings of DNA research with the research that is taking place now. The result is a photo-based series consisting of 45 Diptychs and 11 Fusions.
To me as an artist, the studio is a laboratory where I explore ideas and visualize concepts. So it felt natural to focus on the physical space of the laboratory, its devices and tools, from Bunsen burner to high-tech robots and computer-programmed DNA sequencing machines. Those are often rather simple looking boxes that don’t necessarily reveal their highly sophisticated purpose.
In juxtaposing images of the old with the new in form of Diptychs and subsequently overlaying them in the Fusion series I am building new connections, hoping to create a stimulating dialogue not only within the scientific community but also within a broader audience.
“When you have 2 images next to each other you have a narrative” Thomas Demand
The selection of the objects, the images and their juxtaposition or overlaying is totally subjective and has no logical or scientific basis whatsoever.
The sources for these images are:
Laboratories of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, photography Bernd Haussmann 2012-2014
CureVac Tuebingen, photography Werner Trotter 2015
University of Tuebingen, Institut fuer Interfakultaere Biochemie, photography Werner Trotter 2015
Schlosskueche laboratory, Schloss Hohentuebingen, University of Tuebingen, photography Werner Trotter and Bernd Haussmann 2014-2015
Original objects from the Schlosskueche laboratory 1860s-1900, photography Werner Trotter 2015
My approach to this project is the one of an artist responding to visuals, hoping that those visuals will stimulate a dialogue with all viewers alike.
Bernd Haussmann 2015