Opening May 22, 2014
Isaac Delgado Fine Arts Gallery
Delgado Community College, City Park Campus
Building 1, Third Floor
615 City Park Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70119

Exhibit dates are May 22 - August 28, 2014
There will be a closing reception and artist talk on August 28, 5 - 7 p.m.

Summer gallery hours:
Monday - Thursday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

The public is welcome and there is no admission charge. For further information contact Brenda Hanegan, gallery director, at 504-671-6377, or

Dr. Daniel Janzen, University of Pensylvania

I just want to explain a bit more about the exhibit on the wall that you all have just been looking at. Joe came and visited Area de Conservacion Guanacaste (ACG) for a few days, and bumped around with us in the forest, watching us work and hearing about the forest and natural history and taxonomy and DNA barcoding. He did not say a lot, but he was looking for ways to join the artist side of him with the DNA barcoding/science in some sort of combination.

What he hit on is the DNA barcorder's concept that when we look at species, we actually are seeing them only fuzzily. So you have seen the specimen boxes on the walls with a burry image inside, no matter whether you are up close or far away. This represents what you are actually seeing when you look at a specimen, that YOU think you are seeing very well, and especially if you think you can put a name on its species.

Well, in fact most of us have been deluded into thinking that the name you have is the name for A species. But what the barcoding has shown us is that if you take a more focused look at a butterfly, by using its barcode to identify it, you get a more accurate name, thereby sharpening your focus. The QR code is simply an easy path to where there is a more focused (more accurate, more detailed) look at that butterfly, or any other specimen, and especially avoiding confusing it with other species that look the same but really are not because they have different barcodes.

Some day you will be able to drop that barcode into Google and it will go directly to the information on the species with that barcode, on the web, thereby giving you a much more refined/focused view, and therefore a more accurate view, of what is flopping around in front of you. What we do today, in identifying species in nature, is like looking at the vehicles on the freeway from 30,000 feet and calling one a car, another a truck, and another a bus. But if you drop down to 1000 feet, you can say that this one is a 1964 Chevrolet, that one is a Greyhound bus, and the other is an Atlas moving van or a Google photo car. For some aspects of our interactions with the wild world, perhaps the 30,000 foot view is OK, but for many other aspects, we want to study the beasts from 1000 feet or even less. All buses are not equal. DNA barcoding can give us that.

Original exhibition curated by David Francis
Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA