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CYTO-GALAXIES

(2023)

CYTO-GALAXIES_Eckart-Bartnik_01.jpg

CYTO-GALAXIES

Neither the Hubble nor the Webb Space Telescope provide such images. They are not gazes into the astronomical depths of space, star clusters, planetary systems, gas nebulae, dust clouds, or dark matter.

They are artistic renderings of graphic representations of biological data – so-called single-cell sequencing data that describe the function of cells in unseen depths. Each tiny dot in these images represents a single cell. It is identified by its specific mRNA pattern which drives protein biosynthesis. Clouds of dots with the same color represent cells with the same function. The entire image represents the complexity of human tissues. For these representations huge amounts of publicly available data are interpreted and graphically visualized using dimension-reducing statistical clustering algorithms.

These visualizations served as a starting point for expressionistic transformations to detach them from their direct scientific content and approach their abstract qualities. The transformations reveal shapes and colors that take us into the surrounding infinity and yet reflect our molecular blueprint. The flood of biological data is transformed into a sensual field of association in which science and art
merge.

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