Biological Clock

Biological Clock
Alan Brown, 2022

Developed in collaboration with Dr Georg Kustatscher, School of Biological Sciences (University of Edinburgh)

Twenty-four electric alarm clocks with bright red digital displays show the genome sequence of human individuals in AG:CT format, scanning through the genome in one-second / 4bp intervals*. 

Varied in style and appearance, each clock represents an individual person. Half the clocks feature mutations (e.g. linked to cancer) which cause the clock to intermittently ‘malfunction’.

The installation may bring to mind ideas around genetics and time both from a scientific perspective (precision medicine, big data) and the lived experience of people (i.e. the inevitability of disease-causing mutations).

* It would take approximately ninety-five years to scroll through a human genomic sequence at this rate