Crick Institute: Infinite Instrucitons

Celebrating World Poetry Day with Infinite Pattern

Exploring codes in words and science

Increasingly, people in the creative arts are finding ways to interpret deep science and unseen phenomena. Similarly, scientists are surprised to find serendipity and similarity between the creative process and the often structured, objective way they work. This relationship is being explored in an exhibition at the Crick Institute - a unique partnership between the Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome, UCL (University College London), Imperial College London and King’s College London.

In collaboration with Poet in the City, the Crick invited award-winning poet Sarah Howe and sound artist Chu-Li Shewring to journey into the world of genomic patterning. Guided by staff in the Advanced Sequencing Facility at the Crick, the artists met a range of scientists across the institute – each one seeking and scrutinising patterns within different areas of the genome.

The result: a lyrical artwork
, ‘A New Music’, delving into the form, function and rhythm of the genome, highlighting the beauty and wonder of the natural world, whilst exploring the concept of the unknown as a source of inspiration. Sarah Howe's poem follows the sequence of the genome, whilst Shewring's sound piece mimics the research, pattern and formulas of the science behind it.
"Ancestral patterns persist, seams laid down in a deep past all species share"
Extract from 'A New Music' by Sarah Howe