Paul Vanouse

Further information

Country of origin




As an artist working in emerging media forms, Paul Vanouse used his time at SymbioticA to produce representation images using DNA sequencing technologies.

Research project

Latent Figure Protocol

In the project Vanouse developed in SymbioticA,  Latent Figure Protocol, he utilised DNA sequencing technologies to create representational images in which there is a tension between that which is portrayed / represented and the DNA materials used to generate it.

Not simply images of a sequence of DNA in a gel (like a DNA fingerprint), but rather DNA sequences in a gel specifically chosen to create a quasi-photographic representation of another subject. For instance, using a 16-lane electrophoresis gel, it is possible to generate an iconic image by treating each lane as a row of pixels analogous to how early computer images were built using ascii characters.

Inserting DNA of known sizes into the beginning slot of each lane allows for a sequence of DNA bands in each lane to migrate at different speeds when voltage is applied, thus creating a two-dimensional grid of DNA bands resembling a low-resolution bitmap image.


The three-month residency was supported by New York State Council on the Arts and Creative Capital Foundation.


Vanouse worked in collaboration with microbiologist Dr Susan Barker of the UWA School of Plant Biology.

Period of research