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CONSTRUCTING J. DOE

“Constructing J. Doe”, signed by a surrealistic approach, incarnates the will of materializing an imaginary of what the abstract construction of J. Doe would look, think and feel like in reality. Playing the role of the scientist, I give birth to a creature built by genetic scraps from others. 

 

Combining genome maps from different human beings, extracted from anonymous DNA sequencing samples provided by the NIH’s GenBank, a spawn that represents the concept of identity in itself is brought to life. To begin with, I exhibit different human body samples which I bought through the Internet, along with the purchase’s ticket, making a statement on identity and its commodification.

 

I delve in the relationship between self-construction and Artificial Intelligence by crowding a room with algorithm-generated images of what J. Doe might look like, derived from the information comprised in his DNA sequence regarding his personality and his appearance, including facial features, eye color, hair color, etc. The images are arranged to replicate the shape of the double helix of the DNA sequence. 

Going one step further, I present J. Doe’s private diary, handwritten by me: a condensation of data on his personality, his personal tastes, his usual behavior, and certain fun-facts extracted from his genetic information, derived from the partnering with Genomics, a company involved in sequencing. I construct this diary in collaboration with Artificial Intelligence, which functions in a fortuitous and unthinkable way, reminiscent of certain poetry that was written from automatic sentences, in the style of Breton. The physical handwritten diary is displayed in conjunction with a sequence audio of different voices reciting the lines of the intimate book coming from behind the spectator, and a screened video highlighting different excerpts.

At last, this piece includes an interactive component: I invite viewers to play Amateur Gods, by infusing the Breath of Life into J. Doe’s body. By the action of blowing into a balloon, each spectator will contribute to breathe life into this character. Participants are invited to pin their air-filled balloons into the room’s magentised walls, creating a mural made of breath. As the balloon leaks air, this worn breath returns to the closed room, ready to be inhaled by the next visitor.

J. Doe’s body, built by the breath of all, embodies this nature of the anonymous and the collective at the same time.

 

The route of this work is constructed in such a way that the spectator must transit one space at a time, advancing towards the next space, until arriving at the end.

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