Public Art

IMPRINT is a public artwork by Artist Amy Karle that explores the complexity of humanity, from our DNA code to the big picture of what makes us who we are
cast into the architectural facade of a medical school building.

Imagine standing on the sidewalk looking up the façade of the new medical university building and seeing thousands of letters representing the human genome code (AGCT) in eye-chart size covering a large portion of the building, and your awe when realizing that this represents less than one hundred thousandth (.00001%) of the human genome. Up close, IMPRINT depicts the overwhelming enormity of the amount of information contained within the human genome in a single cell.

When viewed from afar, this artwork appears as human faces. The non-descript face patterns will be created by taking photos of the university’s students, faculty, staff, and the community passing by the site of the new building over 1 week, and then making a composite from those photos. There is no individual identity to the images their nondescript expression will rest in peaceful contemplation. The faces emerging from the text represent the humanistic element, and may appear as changing variations as one moves around the building due to the text-based composition.

The amount of scientific data being represented in alpha characters of DNA convey that the University is a beacon of education, a leader in the biological life sciences, an institution for teaching, research and knowledge. The larger picture of faces show the humanistic side of healing and healthcare, representing the university’s diverse fields of health sciences, and hands-on disciplines that care deeply for people.

This public artwork visually represents that there is so much to being human, from the DNA that composes us on microscopic levels, to the big picture of all that makes a person who they are. IMPRINT conveys that there is much to learn from the complexity of life at so many levels, while simultaneously reminding us to see the humanity and person in front of us. It is designed be rooted in the site, the community, and in the values of the medical school.



Amy Karle is an internationally award-winning artist working at the intersection of where humanity and technology merge.  She is fascinated with the ways that science and technology can enhance our lives and the future. Her work makes advanced concepts of life, science, medical futures, and technology relatable through well-crafted ultra-contemporary artwork. In the process of making her artwork, Karle leverages scientific research, utilizes technological tools, and collaborates across disciplines to create a joint space for imagination and creation. Her resulting artworks sit at the nexus of physical, computational, and biological systems, enmeshed with concepts of what it means to be human. Her work speaks to a wide audience as it opens minds to consider the impacts of technology on our health and the future, and to envision empowering solutions; while serving as a reminder of the awe and beauty of life.

With over 20 years’ experience, Karle has demonstrated repeated success delivering complex, far-reaching projects from ideation to consummation with high conceptual value, technical rigor, refined craftsmanship, aesthetic draw, and emotional resonance. A responsible project leader with a positive disposition, she inspires cooperation across diverse teams and industries to execute and achieve vision on time and within budget. She is an in-depth researcher and deep thinker, and a dynamic storyteller through art; accomplished in art and design, digital manufacturing, and fine craftsmanship. She has the expertise to execute IMPRINT conceptually and technically. She was traditionally trained in ceramic sculpture and mold making, and is recognized worldwide in the digital manufacturing processes required to physically create this piece.

Karle is a full-time artist based in the San Francisco Bay area. She creates her artwork in collaboration with and by the support of local institutions, museums, healthcare, and tech companies. Karle exhibits worldwide including at The Smithsonian (USA), Ars Electronica (Austria), Centre Pompidou (France), Copernicus Science Centre (Poland), FILE (Brazil), Media Arts Biennale (China), Milano Triennale (Italy) Mori Art Museum (Japan), Museum of Contemporary Art (Taiwan), Stanford National Accelerator Laboratory (USA), and on the blockchain. She is regularly invited to share her innovations and insights as a keynote speaker and in think tanks. Karle was an Artist Diplomat through the U.S. Department of State tasked with public diplomacy, social innovation, women’s empowerment and supporting collaborative projects using art and technology to address social issues. She was Grand Prize Winner of the “YouFab Global Creative Award” and has been named one of the “Most Influential Women in 3D Printing”. In 2019, she was honored as one of BBC’s 100 most inspiring and influential women in the world. The long-term goals of her work are to continue to pioneer in the art x biotech field and make contributions to the advancement of society, technology and healthcare in the process.