• Extended Family
  • Extended Family
  • Extended Family

Extended Family

Installation with human beings (Homo sapiens), zebra-fish (Danio rerio), fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) and DNA microarrays. 

With “The Extended Family” the similarities between all live organisms are asserted. It will be shown that when studying butterflies, flies or fish we are also learning about ourselves. This statement will be made by direct visualization of similarities (and differences) between human genes and genes from fruitflies and zebrafish. The use of genes as medium for such assertion is relevant as genes determine to a great extent what humans, flies and fish are. Genes are the key for the similarities, and differences, across all live organisms. Many human genes are remarkably conserved in other species. The work is presented as an installation where images obtained by comparing similarities between genes of different species are represented as DNA microarrays, presented together with individuals from the three different species: fruitflies inside a netted cube suspended from a tree; zebrafish inside a cubic tank semi-immersed in a pond; and the human beings – the visitors – are invited to experience the installation from within an open cube. From the human cube, the visitors could then see how different the organisms in the other cubes appear, and yet observe the number of genetic similarities we share, painted with DNA.

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Tags: genetics, blast, DNA, genes, biology, art, bioart, installation, live organisms.

Keywords: DNA, genes, identity, live organisms