Each can contains one million copies of the album, encoded as DNA and embedded within the matt black paint
Earlier this year, Massive Attack revealed that they had encoded their game-changing third album Mezzanine into DNA. Now, the band are selling the album remastered in aerosol form, making it available in a can of spraypaint.
In a press release, the group explain that a limited number of spray cans will be up for sale, each containing approximately one million DNA copies of Mezzanine. Robert Glass, professor at ETH Zurich’s Functional Materials Laboratory, explains the encoding process: “(It is a) digital bitstream of the album (containing) individual sequences (which were) chemically synthesised resulting in a synthetic DNA sample,” he says.
Glass also says that “to enable the mixing of the DNA with the spray can paint and to guarantee information stability, the DNA sequences were encapsulated in synthetic glass fossils”.
Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja, Massive Attack’s co-founder, believes this innovation is a “creative way to store your back catalogue, although DNA-encoded spraypaint is unlikely to be adopted by street artists seeking anonymity”.
The spraypaint comes sleekly packaged in a black and silver can, with “MEZZANINE DNA” plastered in bordered texts on the front. The product information is labelled below: “One million copies of the Mezzanine album encoded in 901’065 DNA sequences, each 146 basepairs long and encapsulated in silicone particles for long-term stoage stability.”
The fact that it’s been turned into spraypaint is particularly significant, given Massive Attack’s history – Del Naja was an active member of Bristol’s graffiti scene in the 1990s before forming Massive Attack.
It’s not yet clear when or how you will be able to buy the spraypaint. Check out an alternative can from the group’s Instagram below.