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Accepted Paper:

Steganographia: Photographic Ontologies of Data Stored in DNA  
Megan Ratliff (Virginia Commonwealth University)

Paper short abstract:

Steganographia engages with the current state of digital data stored in synthetic DNA by utilizing analogue and digital photographic processes as a means of materializing this emerging technology.

Paper long abstract:

The future of digital data storage is uncertain as we are pushing up against the physical capabilities of current digital storage options and rapidly approaching a data storage crisis. DNA is an information dense material and offers a chemical means of storing data for potentially thousands of years, far exceeding the average lifespan of current storage platforms. DNA emerges as a means to simultaneously piece together the past and safeguard against decay in the future. Steganographia embodies a potential for visual experimentations utilizing photographic image-making, which addresses the cultural, historical, artistic, and technological aspects of emerging DNA storage technologies.

Digital technology is often discussed as diametrically opposed to its analogue counterpart, framing the analogue as corporal and digital as incorporeal. This is especially true in discussions of "old" analogue and "new" digital photography. DNA storage upends that long held belief, by offering an analogue solution to the forthcoming digital data storage crisis. Current literature speculates that DNA storage will be an end-to-end digital process (computers will exclusively deal with synthesizing and sequencing DNA), wherein forecasted ubiquitous use of this storage method will appear entirely digital, belying its gooey chemical center.

Steganographs tie to the creative practices and means of visual production by making the photographic works the site of the collection. Coupling DNA data storage and photographic practices offers a framework with which to encounter discussions surrounding this emerging technology.

Panel P24
Digitalization of health: a panel on AI, big-data and applications used in health governance
  Session 1 Monday 6 June, 2022, -