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TEMPLATING LIFE: DNA as Nature’s Hard Drive

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DNA is being touted as the newest and most promising storage technology, especially for fixed, long-term storage. While there have already been many successful experiments encoding/decoding data onto DNA (such as moving images, software, text and computer viruses), little reflection has been done on this kind of innovation in relation to DNA’s colonial legacy: its linking of race and genetics, forensic anthropology, DNA profiling, tracking migrational history, and so on. As such, my contribution to Public is in exploring the promise of DNA as a medium for data storage by complicating and questioning its potential as a site for ongoing conquest and/or decolonization.
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Keywords: DNA; archive; code; data storage

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Assistant Prof. (Environmental Media), Communication Media and Film, University of Calgary.

Publication date: June 1, 2018

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  • PUBLIC is a beautifully designed peer-reviewed journal founded in Toronto as an intellectual and creative forum that focuses on how theoretical, and critical issues intersect with art and visual culture. Each issue's editors explore a contemporary theme by bringing together a unique assemblage of Canadian and international art projects with writing by scholars, curators, critics, and artists. This, along with book and exhibit reviews, creates an assemblage of artists projects and original writing on prescient contemporary themes in art and culture.
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