IOCT Salon  

Thursday 28th June 2007, 6.30pm - 7.30pm

Sarah Jacobs

Please note: this event will be held at and in partnership with the City Gallery, 90 Granby Street, Leicester (Google map)

Sarah Jacobs is a sculptor whose work includes making objects, performance, installation, books on paper, and books in electronic form. She habitually makes use of everyday materials - plasticine and sticky tape, pdfs and powerpoint.

Her 'Deciphering Human Chromosome 16: Index to the Report' is an e-book which contains links to around 250 websites collected in the months following publication in the journal Nature of "The sequence and analysis of duplication-rich human chromosome 16" ( Vol. 432. December 2004). Its contents change over time as the websites change, migrate or disappear. The Index sets fragments collected from the websites against the background of the earlier draft sequence originally published by Project Gutenberg. The solid physicality of the Index contrasts with the ever changing Report although vagaries of the printing process ensure that each copy of the Index is unique.

Sarah will be talking about the interaction between the physical form of her work and its meaning and about the possibilities opened up by making work in electronic form.


"Increasingly, information is being seen as a material for the artist - just like bronze or paint. Sarah Jacobs has taken the largest collection of information - the genome - and made an e-book, which in the ephemeral nature of its hyper-links defeats our notions of the stability of a book. 'Index', however, is a physical book that functions as part of the would-be bookly apparatus of the e-book, its index. Text is both background and foreground, whilst different type sizes and vertical and horizontal orientations disorient the reader. Its physicality is problematised. Sarah Jacobs claims to be its 'co-ordinator': in fact she is its author and artist."
- Stephen Bury, Head of American and European Collections, British Library

"To have the volume open on oneís desk is to stare into some kind of teeming cosmos, teeming with information which somehow issues from a tiny speck in our bodies. A galactic, nano Rosetta stone.... Itís a wonderful and baffling object."
- Guy Brett, Art Critic and Curator

"The Report and the Index are strange, difficult, perplexing, suggestive and strangely beautiful - and awesome in their numerical persistence. Jacobs has created something that is very directly drawn from the science and its diffusion, using the tools of a bibliographer... I think she will come to be regarded as one of the major artists working in the field."
- Martin Kemp, Professor of Art History, University of Oxford

Copies of Deciphering Human Chromosome 16: Index to the Report can be purchased from good bookshops online and everywhere. Perfect bound. 552 pages. 246 x 189. ISBN 978-0-9553092-2-9. RRP £13.99/$25.

Deciphering Human Chromosome 16 : We Report Here can be downloaded free from the publisher, information as material, at


IOCT Salon homepage Directions to the IOCT Salon

The IOCT Salon was managed by Chris Joseph during his position as Digital Writer in Residence at the Institute of Creative Technologies, De Montfort University from 2006-2008. This residency was funded by Arts Council England: East Midlands.

The IOCT Salon was held at and staged by

De Montfort University IOCT

and supported by

Art Council England: East Midlands Literature Development Network

IOCT Salon homepage Directions to the IOCT Salon