‘Transcriptions 1-6’ is a commissioned work for the Cancer Research Institute of the Netherlands (NKI – AVL). An installation for the staircase of the new research laboratories, the work spans six floors in total.
The project is documented in a publication, which includes a description of the translation processes. At 96 pages, it is red on the sides and white on the inside, with texts by Will Holder, Robbert Dijkgraaf, Hans Schoo and Martine Van Kampen. Designed by Salome Schmuki, edited and copyedited by Tania Theodorou and Seamus Cater, and with documentation photographs by Qiu Yang, the book is available for free at the lectures and opening.
The transcriptions themselves consist of the writing of fish genetic information (available from online databases) into various historical languages; past and sometimes obsolete systems of information-storage and communication.
The whole project is an homage to the people working in and around the research institute. Much of their work involves the abstraction of complex biological situations, each time necessitating the invention of new and quite unlikely techniques. The technology and procedures they work with change at such a swift rate, resulting in a constant offloading and updating of approach.
This was the reason for looking backwards, – an absurd practice recalling past systems of reading and writing and with it a small meditation on methods of renewal.