BOLD: The Art of DNA Barcoding

butterfly sculptures
The Ontario Genomics Institute has partnered with renowned Seattle-based artist, Joseph Rossano, and biologists Dr. Paul Hebert and Dr. Daniel Janzen, to engage the public around the science of DNA barcoding and how it is being used to catalog the world’s vast – and threatened – biodiversity. 

Among the many applications of DNA barcoding is its use as an important tool in modern conservation biology.  Indeed, conservation is at the very core of this work, which provides viewers with the opportunity to reflect on the impact of humankind on our environment.

These sculptures and others will be on display in a number of galleries across the United States in 2012-13, beginning with ArtPrize, Grand Rapids, MI, Sept 19-Oct 7; Pacific Science Center, Seattle, opening Oct 6; San Diego Natural History Museum, Oct 12-Feb 18.  BOLD engaged visitors at venues including the Museum of Northwest Art; Adelaide's South Australia Museum; Bellevue, WA's Bellwether Art Walk, and Google's headquarters atrium in 2011-12.

More dates and locations to be announced.  In the meantime, please explore this area of our website to learn more about the work, the organisms it portrays, and the DNA barcodes that adorn each piece.

About the sculptures: A note from the artist, Joseph Rossano

As an artist, I strive to distill ideas, concepts, and reality into their bare essence.  My resulting minimalist sculptures, I hope, convey an emotion, ask a question, or direct the viewer on a path of introspection and investigation, as they explore man's impact on the environment.

My series "BOLD" is named for the acronym for the Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) database. The subject of each specimen box is neither real nor is it an accurate representation of the creature it is designed to represent.  The subjects of these sculptures are a jeweled representation of reality that draw the viewer in for a closer inspection.  As the viewer shortens the distance between himself and the sculpture, the specimen becomes increasingly difficult to discern.  The viewer, now confronted with the frustration of being unable to make out exactly what is in the box, discovers the clear and legible text surrounding the specimen.

What is the text on the side of each piece?  The text is the 100% accurate representation of the specimen that attracted you.  The text is the FASTA file, a textual representation of the DNA barcode that identifies the unique species.

What is the story of this specimen?  What is a DNA barcode?  I'm not a scientist, my role in this interactive collaboration is to distill reality into a visual hook that leads you to the answers.  Welcome to BOLD.   Here, entomologist Dan Janzen and biologist Paul Hebert will lead you to the answers to these and many more of your questions.

Thank you for visiting the web site of these sculptures.  I hope your journey is inspiring and enlightening.

Humbly,
Joseph Rossano

The Collection

To learn more about the organisms and DNA barcodes in each piece, click on the links below

BOLD1 - Zerene cestonia

BOLD 1: Zerene cesonia

Joseph Rossano, 2009.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more.

BOLD2 - Belemnia trotschi

BOLD 2: Belemnia trotschi

Joseph Rossano, 2009.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more.

BOLD3 - Tithorea pinthias

BOLD 3: Tithorea pinthias

Joseph Rossano, 2009.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more.

BOLD4: Azeta rhodogaster

BOLD 4: Azeta rhodogaster (with host plant Gliricidia sepium)

Joseph Rossano, 2009.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, vellum, painted and silvered wood panels, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more.

BOLD5 - Adelpha basiloides

BOLD 5: Adelpha basiloides (with host plant Alibertia edulis)

Joseph Rossano, 2009.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, vellum, painted and silvered wood panels, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more.

BOLD6 - Siderone galanthis

BOLD 6: Siderone galanthis (with host plant Zuelania guidonia)

Joseph Rossano, 2009.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, vellum, painted and silvered wood panels, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more.

BOLD7 - Othorene veranaDHJ01

BOLD 7: Othorene veranaDHJ01 (with host plant Quercus oleoides)

Joseph Rossano, 2009.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, vellum, painted and silvered wood panels, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more.

BOLD8 - Aphrissa statira

BOLD 8: Aphrissa statira (with host plant Callichlamys latifolia)

Joseph Rossano, 2009.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, vellum, painted and silvered wood panels, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more.

Bungalotis diophorus

BOLD 9: Bungalotis diophorus

Joseph Rossano, 2009.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more.

Memphis mora

BOLD 10: Memphis mora

Joseph Rossano, 2009.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more.

Morpho amathonte

BOLD 11: Morpho amathonte

Joseph Rossano, 2009.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more.

Mimoides clusoculis

BOLD 12: Mimoides clusoculis

Joseph Rossano, 2009.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more.

Erbessa salvini

BOLD 14: Erbessa salvini

Joseph Rossano, 2009.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more.

 

BOLD 26: Astraptes fulgerator

Joseph Rossano, 2010.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more.

 

BOLD 27: False Eye, Morpho theseus

Joseph Rossano, 2010.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more.

 

BOLD 28: False Eye, Prepona demodice

Joseph Rossano, 2010.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more.

 

BOLD 29: False Eye, Pierella helvetia

Joseph Rossano, 2010.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more

 

BOLD 30: False Eye, Porphyrogenes peterwegei

Joseph Rossano, 2010.  Sculpture (Carved and silvered polyurethane butterflies, acrylic, glass frit, laserjet transfer, and epoxy resin)

Click here to learn more

whitewashed

Whitewashed

Joseph Rossano, 2009.  Sculpture (Carved and painted Western red cedar)

Click here to learn more about Ursus maritimus (polar bear) and here to learn more about Thuja plicata (Western red cedar).

janzen 1

Guanacaste Series A -
BOLD Caterpillars

Daniel Janzen, 2009.  Photographs.

Click here to learn more about ACG Caterpillars and the photography of Dr. Daniel Janzen.

For more information on DNA barcoding, click on these links of interest: