This project will be an exploration of my own identity, first based on DNA analysis and then combined with graphic personal facts. A work about a visual and metaphorical journey which will attend to cover both perspectives of identity and will articulate what researchers on a biological level can confirm and contrast with a factual background. Assuming the speculative part of mtDNA result (the DNA will be extracted from menstrual blood), a relentless analogy with personal artifacts will be presenting.
I have grown up with the fantasy that I must have something exotic deep inside me. People frequently asked me about my relatives, and I started to believe that I somehow belong to another soil than my motherland. Ethnicity and cultural identity become thus an obsessional topic that I have been relentlessly questioning through my artworks. Having the chance now to work in a DIY BioLab, I aspire to move my perspectives into a micro/biological angle.
Inspiring by the literature that I have been through (especially Discourse on the Origin of Inequality, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, 1775) I decided to pursue my intersect feelings and I attended to analyze my DNA, with the secret hope of discovering my own ethnicity extent and finding any connection with Asian ethnicity.
After making myself familiar with this new terminology, I have been gathering different protocols which would allow me to identify a certain percentage of Asian patterns in my DNA sequences. But unfortunately, I found out that it was more complex than I first thought, for multiple reasons. The first is the fact that those protocols required a more specific equipment (than PCR machine), but then and above all, an access to a DNA database is indispensable. Indeed, the overall principle of each method is about comparing DNA samples with an already defined categorized population guide. In addition, the amount of genetic variations among different population group is 10%-20% only, and within a population component of genetic variation of 93% to 95% has been established. Thus, categorizing a group of population is already a long, complex and tricky method, but then, finding fragments of different ethnicity patterns within a single DNA sample turns towards a speculative work. Plus, even if I would have found some significant Asian genetic patterns in my blood, those very patterns would have been compared with actual Asian population, and not with an ancestral one (which could differ)
• Provide a vision of mankind nature that entails man as an infallible judge of good and evil.
• Making human the center of the scheme of things that surrounds.
• When natures are seen to be a product of our mind, all that is left of the original trials of self-presence just in truth.
• We should trust our feelings since emotions are perceived as a prism, which alters the shape and colors of past and present life.
• Our memory of objective facts is colored by present feelings and motivation.
• Subjective truth is prior to and more fundamental (more authentic) than object objective truth.
• Life is something we carry within us, and it is up to each of us to cultivate it and express it in our own personal ways.
• Socrate’s concept of “know thyself”, human are regarded as parts of a wider cosmic totality.
• Thus knowing yourself involved knowing above all what is your place in that complex pattern.
• Our authenticity is defined by our nature as this fits into the overall practices and background of life of the world as a whole entity.
• The influence of society in constructing our self-understanding is evident.
• Grew up in great part in interaction with culture, it is incapable of directing our behavior or organizing our experience without the guidance provided (by culture’s) systems of significant symbols.
• Without men, no culture, certainly; but equally, and more significantly, without culture, no men.
• It is up to you to determine the overall shape your life will have.
• Is to identify what really matters in the historical situation in which you find yourself and to take a resolute stand on pursuing those ends.
• Must have an understanding of what is of crucial importance to you, and that means knowing where you stand within a context of questions about what is truly worth pursuing in life.
• What shapes your identity, according to this picture, is determined by what you identify with: the life-defining ideals and projects that make you who you are.
• It is less important what you believe and feel than how deep those feelings and beliefs are.
• The crucial concern is being true to the inner self as it reveals itself and expressing it openly.
My first idea of project would be then a sort of critic of this scientific supremacy. Current DNA analyses bring about an inaccurate truth and significant data are missing to determine one’s identity.
Although those five tubes provide my precise genetic code, they do not narrow down who I truly am. Culture, background, life-experiences, aspirations shape me as a person more accurately. A graphic representation of this identity duality.