Every single person on this planet is unique and different in their own way. We may share commonalities like interests, style, ethnicity, religion and more, but we are all innately one of a kind. Even identical twins at the most miniscule levels have characteristics and differences that define them apart. There are over 7 billion people in the world and each and every one of us has qualities that make us distinct. That is immediately what comes to mind when I think of DNA. At microscopic levels, the chemical structure of everyone’s DNA is the same, but the combinations of nucleotides and genes (that determine our individualistic characteristics) are different. Sometimes we can’t see just how special each other are, and overlook the fact that there is no one like you and I in the world.
We all belong under groups (like cultural or social) that categorizes us with others alike. This makes our existence less distinctive and takes away a part of what makes us unique individuals. We may share macroscopic similarities like skin colour, facial features, and hair colour, but it is our microscopic differences that make each and every one of us special.
The celebration of identity, individualism and self-appreciation was a theme I wanted to incorporate. Visual deception, how we cannot see everything with our naked eyes was another theme I wanted to explore. Ironically, the colour and pattern of a person’s iris is just as complex and unique as DNA. The human eye became the inspiration behind my piece.
After examining the data set, I researched more into deoxyribonucleic acid, chromosomes (particularly 13), and the four nucleobases: thymine, adenine, guanine, and cytosine. Unlike other fixed data sets like the CO2 levels or Earthquake occurrences, the data for DNA to me was really just an example or template because it is different for everyone. So with that freedom, I wanted to create something that was not too literal but conceptually driven. The images below inspired the idea of incorporating the visual aesthetics into creating the patterns for the iris of my eye.
I was originally only going to use processing as a stepping stone for my final product, but I thought presenting the piece in processing would take the piece to another level. Since processing is not my strong suit (nor my main interest), I did majority of the detail work in Photoshop, and used processing only for the animation. I created many variations of DNA ladders and chromosomes to emulate details of the iris. I was a little hesitant because I didn’t want it to be a literal adaption plastered on. However, after adjusting the opacity levels and making them rotate in different directions at different speeds, it came out very complex and difficult to tell what they truly were. Below are close-ups of the detail work done for the iris and the pupil, along with an image of the piece not animated.
I am very happy with how the final product turned out, and very proud that I was able to use processing to take my piece to the next level. Although it is supposed to look like an eye, the result ended up encompassing beyond that, giving astronomic-futuristic-cyborg feels which I am very pleased with. The finishing touch of giving the user the ability to change the various hues of the eye further celebrates the diversity of differences what makes us unique. You are special and one of a kind. Eye Am special and one of a kind.