The Art of DNA Barcoding

Joseph Rossano's interactive BOLD sculpture series interprets the work of innovative biodiversity scientists, including Dr. Daniel H. Janzen, distinguished Kyoto Prize Laureate, Crafoord Prize recipient,  BBVA Frontiers of Knowledge awardee, and University of Pennsylvania Professor.

BOLD shares the acronym of Barcode of Life Datasystems, the Canadian repository for the International Barcode of Life project, for which Janzen is a passionate proponent and contributor.

Traveling widely from his Pacific Northwest home, Rossano engages the public in DNA barcoding of biodiversity through his artistic creation. He gives viewers access to efforts to catalog, understand, and protect our planet's precious and threatened biological resources. Sculptured and silvered polyurethane butterflies and Moorea reef fish, and lacquered sea life abstractions, are the core of Rossano's exhibition.

Dr. Janzen's stunning caterpillar photographs from the Área de Conservación Guanacaste, a renowned tropical biocultural restoration and UNESCO World Heritage Site in northwestern Costa Rica, provide visual and biological complement to Rossano's butterflies and other specimens.

Each BOLD piece incorporates a vision of reading nature—bioliteracy—via mobile devices, delivering the natural history and science of species to you: Bring your smartphone along!  

A note from the artist, Joseph Rossano:

...I strive to distill ideas, concepts, and reality into their bare essence. My resulting minimalist sculptures, I hope, convey an emotion, ask a question, or direct the viewer on a path of introspection and investigation, as they explore man's impact on the environment.


QR Codes (abbreviated from Quick Response Codes) in the exhibit simulate mobile DNA barcoder species identification and allow immediate exploration of the science and natural history of the specimens via the Museum's wireless connectivity; see a list of  QR Code Readers to download a QR reader for your specific mobile device.

Contributors and supporters of this special project at the San Diego Natural History Museum include: Hattie Ettinger Conservation Fund of the San Diego Foundation; Guanacaste Dry Forest Conservation Fund; Area de Conservacion Guancaste, Costa Rica; International Barcode of Life ; Ontario Genomics Institute; Canadian Consul/Trade Commissioner in San Diego; BioCode Moorea; John Burns, Ph.D., Curator of Entomology, Smithsonian Institution; and Kyocera.


Buy tickets Become a member