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)
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.