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A talk on Barcode Wales - Beyond the Visible at Chongqing University of Post and Communications - the students are undergraduates with majors in either biosciences, art, journalism or design.
I start with some background on DNA barcoding and the Barcode Wales project and Andrea continues with an explanation about her artwork and the Barcode Wales - Beyond the Visible exhibition. We then discuss the links between the art and the science.
Andrea's photographs illustrate some of the plant species DNA barcoded as part of the Barcode Wales project. She takes a different approach to her subjects. Instead of photographs that look 'at' the world around us, she wants us to be part of that landscape and involved with it. Instead of 'pictures of plants' she asks us to imagine being part of their world, like a bee foraging through their habitat. Her photographs give equal value to all plants not just the rare or conventionally beautiful.
Below the photographs is a visual representation of the plants DNA barcode. The Barcode Wales project is also about giving value to every plant species and its DNA barcode allows us to understand their habitats in new ways. The name of the species is not given on the photographs, instead the DNA barcode represents the signature of the species, as it is the DNA code locked up in every cell of the plant's body. The DNA barcode visualisations use the actual rbcL DNA barcode of the species with the A,G,C,Ts of the DNA bases each having a different colour and shape. The shapes are the Morse code for that letter. The visualisations were designed by Col Ford who wrote a software script to generate the visualisations from the Barcode Wales database. The Barcode Wales - Beyond the Visible exhibition is a collaboration between art, science and software engineering.