Contagious Bodies: Network Politics Seminar Series-6: Paul Vanouse
Date: May 28, 2016
Place: santralistanbul Campus
EXPERIMENTING WITH AUTHORITY:
USING DNA AS AN ARTISTIC MEDIUM
DNA fingerprint images have been called “truth machines”, “god’s blueprints”, and the “gold standard” in suspect identification. While the photograph was once considered powerful evidence, the easy manipulability and their linkage with surface appearance makes them far less influential than the DNA image. DNA fingerprints carry such weight in medical, genetic, and criminal investigation they can be understood as the most authoritative images of our time. But what is the source of this authority? And why is the metaphor of “fingerprint” invoked when DNA images are neither from a finger, nor are they imprints? It could be argued that much of the authority of the DNA fingerprint is leveraged from convenient, if misleading, metaphor, synecdoche and hyperbole. In this talk, Vanouse will discuss several of his DNA-based artworks in terms of such arguments and alongside his broad inquiry into the technosciences of human difference.
Paul Vanouse is a Professor of Art at the University at Buffalo. He has been working in emerging media forms since 1990. Interdisciplinarity and impassioned amateurism guide his art practice. His biological media experiments, and interactive installations have been exhibited in over 20 countries and widely across the US. Recent solo exhibitions include: Schering Foundation in Berlin, Kapelica Gallery in Ljubljana, Muffathalle in Munich, and Beall Center at UC Irvine, California. Vanouse has been specifically concerned with forcing the arcane codes of scientific communication into a broader cultural language. In The Relative Velocity Inscription Device (2002), he literally races DNA from his Jamaican-American family members through a DNA sequencing gel, in an artistic experiment that explores the relationship between early 20th Century Eugenics and late 20th Century Human Genomics. The double entendre of race highlights the obsession with “genetic fitness” within these historical endeavors. Similarly, his recent projects, “Latent Figure Protocol” (2007), “Ocular Revision” (2010) and “Suspect Inversion Center” (2012) use molecular biology techniques to challenge “genome-hype” and to confront issues surrounding DNA fingerprinting.
Invitations will be distributed one hour before the event. Event is free.
Curation: Assoc. Prof. Ebru Yetişkin, Istanbul Technical University
Organization: DECOL Coop./ DECOL Academy