Digital DNA

Skills :

Data visualization

Date :

April 2014

Description :

Digital DNA explores the intersection between my digital and physical identity by recording the digital traces I leave behind in a tangible data visualization filled with DNA.

Over the course of three separate days (February 22, April 18, September 21, 2014), I recorded my keystrokes for 24 hours. I then laser cut an acrylic keyboard, where the height of the keys correspond to the number of times I pressed the key. Each key was filled with an alcoholic mixture and DNA extracted from my cheek cell membrane, resulting in thousands of DNA molecules visibly clumped together, swirling in the transparent acrylic.

Interestingly, closer examination of the frequency of keys pressed revealed certain insights about my day -- for example, during a particularly frustrating day (February 22, 2014), the number of times I pressed "delete" was higher than the other days recorded. Thus, these data visualizations become a sort of physical diary.

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