Installation with human beings (Homo sapiens) and DNA microarrays.
In “The Nuclear Family” genetic differences between human beings from different groups are represented using DNA microarrays. The groups can be defined based on physical characteristics, such as “dark eyes”, “blond hair”, “disabled”; Or non-physical characteristics, such as nationality, religion, “vegetarian” or “wealthy”. Although genes are not the only factor determining who and how we are, they are doubtlessly one of the most important elements in making all of us similar. This project is shown as a group of open cubes, inside the gallery, each one corresponding to a different group. The visitors are invited to experience the installation from within a cube corresponding to a group where they feel included. The cubes are separated by reproductions of DNA microarrays showing the genetic differences between individuals from those groups. The visitors are invited to consider that there are no significant genetic differences between individuals from different groups. The project also shows that, nevertheless, there are no two human individuals alike – even when the genes are exactly alike, as with identical twins, or if human clones will ever be created. This uniqueness of the individual is a consequence of the factors that are not encoded in the genes and that significantly determine how each of us becomes. As Mozambican writer Mia Couto once stated “Every Man is one race”.
Tags: DNA, genomics, genes, human genome, labels.