For several years while pursuing his doctorate at the MIT Media Lab, Fry devoted his work to the visual translation of genomic findings. Several of his works are on view here, but it is apt to begin with one of his most encompassing and ambitious projects, the seventy million letters of genetic code that form chromosome 18. The darker color depicts sequences of code that are used by a cell as a set of instructions for building a protein. These instructions are interrupted by unused pieces of code, which have a medium tone in the image. The gray areas currently have no known function. At seventy-five million DNA bases (each represented by one of four letters), this is the sixth shortest human chromosome. It would take forty- five images of this size to depict the genetic code of the entire human genome, more than three billion letters.
Gallery label from Design and the Elastic Mind, February 24–May 12, 2008.