0.1%

Organized by Dr. Yewande Pearse

Our DNA – the script of our lives – is 99.9% the same across the human species. But differences in the remaining 0.1% hold important clues to who we are as individuals – a reality that begat the “quantified self” movement. The movement, also known as lifelogging, describes the trend towards using technology to acquire data on aspects of a person’s daily life, with the goal of improving physical, mental, and/or emotional performance.

Genetic information acquired by consumer testing companies like 23andMe can illuminate inner resources and limitations, functioning as a kind of oracle into the secrets of our bodies, identities and individualities. Still, many questions remain unanswered in regards to the impact of such inquiry on notions of the self and the socio-political.

0.1% explores what it means to uncover the genetic roots of who we are and who we could be. This week-long program demystifies how genomics inform identity, with an exhibition of works selected through an open call, the release of a Massive x NAVEL collaborative zine, an installation by neuroscientist and philosopher Dan Lloyd, discussions of scientific papers, and talks by influential figures whose work grows in the delta where hard science meets the arts.

The Open Call will be announced by May 2019. Sign up here to be notified to be notified.


Dr. Yewande Pearse is a neuroscientist and science communicator. Her research interests in the lab focus on rare genetic neurological disorders, gene therapy, stem cell research and CRISPR, but her fascination with the brain is not limited to any one area of the field. She has written for Massive, TEDMED and Subpac, hosts a monthly podcast called Sound Science on Dublab radio and has been a guest speaker at Immerse(d), an event series exploring the impact of how deep immersive music can impact our brains, and Science of Grief, a 14-hour community conversation and performance on grief in partnership with Science Gallery Lab Detroit and The Detroit Institute of Arts.

Massive is dedicated to helping scientists share stories about their work and lives in pursuit of a more informed, rational, and curious society. Massive’s online publication is the home for their scientist’s stories and they publish new stories daily. They tell stories you can trust about the climate, genetics, and more.

Dan Lloyd is Thomas C. Brownwell Professor of Philosophy and a faculty member of the neuroscience program at Trinity College, Connecticut. His work explores consciousness, from the standpoints of philosophy, phenomenology, and neuroscience using data visualization, sonification, and animation. In his article “Mind as Music,” Lloyd argues that neuroscientists have used language as the controlling metaphor for analyzing, discussing, and conceptualizing brain activity. However, he suggests that “language tokens are sequential; while magnetic resonance signals are separable into multiple simultaneous signals” and can be better conceptualized through music. Music, Lloyd argues, is a more appropriate and revealing way to analyze fMRI data; the sonification of fMRI scans can help us understand how the brain works by letting us experience the networks that link brain regions, and allowing us to hear the complexity of brain activity.

Visual designed by Jay Are
Creator of ‘Hole in the head’ Instagram filter: Marc Wakefiled, Director of Augmented Reality Design Solutions