It’s 20 years since Massive Attack released the groundbreaking Mezzanine. Still restless and forward-facing, founding member Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja has decided to can the landmark album by way of celebration. Working with scientists in Switzerland, he has encoded the digital bitstream of the album into strands of artificial DNA, encased them in microscopic glass beads and turned that into black paint (a nod to Del Naja’s sideline as a graffiti artist). The concept just scooped Best Canned Music in our Wallpaper* Design Awards.

The use of DNA to store digital information is actually one of science’s hottest research areas; a gram of double helixes could potentially store 500 billion gigs of data. Massive Attack settled for a measly million copies of the album in each can of Mezzanine paint.

Designed by long-term collaborator Tom Hingston and Del Naja, just 30 cans will be made available in early March. §

As originally featured in the February 2019 issue of Wallpaper* (W*239)