The Barcode Of Life
October 5, 2012-January 21 , 2013 at Pacific Science Center
Living and working in Arlington, WA, Joseph Rossano is an artist who strives to bring topics at the forefront of scientific invention to the public. By sculpting representations of different species and encasing them in resin boxes, Rossano creates elusive forms for the viewer to decipher. Adorning the perimeter of each resin box is a series of letters that represents the DNA barcode for that species. Scientists use these DNA barcodes to accurately identify species who might otherwise be confused with another look-a-like species, known as cryptic species complex. This phenomenon is defined as a group of totally individual species whose morphology is virtually identical to each other.
The two interactive pieces that will be on display at Pacific Science Center are A Cryptic Species Complex and In Our Home Waters. Both pieces illustrate the occurance of cryptic species within butterflies or salmon. The artist has provided QR codes for the viewer to scan and learn more about the complexity of identifying the species featured in each resin encasement and the amazing discoveries made through DNA barcoding.