Exchange Between Scientists and Artist Produces Exhibition at the Broad Institute


CAMBRIDGE, MA.- Data Sets comes out of a six-year exchange between painter Daniel Kohn and scientists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard. Through a series of conversations and residencies at the Broad, Kohn explored the conceptual framework surrounding genomics. As a result, his own visual language and artistic method transformed as he was exposed to the methods, challenges, and technologies of genome-based research. Genomics considers a genome — the complete genetic blueprint of an organism — as a total system rather than focusing on single elements, such as genes. The human genome, for example, is not simply a chain of 3.2 billion chemical “letters”, but a dynamic system in which the parts interact, forming genes and other important functional elements that support life. In order to explore this system, scientists routinely collect extremely large amounts of data, which they analyze to find m