Adriana Varella & Nilton Maltz
Digital DNA is a seven-foot-tall egg-shaped sculpture made of printed circuit boards on fiberglass and styrofoam by artists Adriana Varella and Nilton Maltz. Many of the boards are etched with phrases crowd-sourced from people of all walks of life, who shared with Varella their thoughts about technology as the “circuits in their lives." Phrases appear in a variety of languages, and they speak to a wide variety of ways in which technology and humanity intersect. Digital DNA was originally commissioned by the city of Palo Alto in the early 2000’s, and resided in Lytton Plaza in the center of the city. When the city decided to deaccession the work, an anonymous art collector stepped in to purchase it. The sculpture required extensive treatment by Varella to make it ready for its new home outside the Harvard Innovation Lab on Western Avenue in Allston. Situated directly between the Harvard Business School and the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, the iLab is a hub of innovation open to students and faculty across the University who are interested in entrepreneurship. Digital DNA was on loan to Harvard from 2018 through August 2023.