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On one hand, in THE ARTIST IS PRESENT, there is sincerely put the question for the original, separate identity, not conditioned by experiences, memories and social circumstances. I release my DNA to use, to mutate or to improve my or the buyers genetic material. My identity gets liquid, dissolves in anonymity to become manifest in a new structure.
On the other hand by using formal elements of the Christian liturgy and symbolic metaphors of blood, it turns into irony.

This apparent ambivalence refers to the current discussion about genetics. It is exposed as the consequence of Christian imposed ethics and the expansive progress-believing humanistic tradition. In that domestication, discipline and subjection are inherent to humanism which is the basis of all occidental societies. By making the selection between barbarous and civilized there was created a collective identity. This collective consciousness seems threatened in the face of the recent biological openness. They are challenged to survey by the change from exogenous to endogenous human being. The traditional human image as well as cultural and biological being is in question.

The current disruption on bioethics is not only the result of historical state-controlled eugenics but also of the antagonism between “healthy” social developments, expansive progress and the culturally established claim to creation’s crowning glory. To dissolve this contradiction there are installed terminological diversification to produce an argument for quality and quantity of life – aimed to get best possible gene pool and to raise the competitive capability. At the same time the idea of the pure, true gene is implied which is contained in the body’s liquids.
The enhancement of this “only” gene to an icon as well as the scientific language and metaphors concerning genomics refer to traditional terms implicating mystical or religious sublimity sustaining the same unifying mind as it is inherent to all communities of believe and science.

In 1995, in their book The DNA Mystique Dorothy Nelkin and Susan Lindee establish the connexion to the human soul or transubstantiation:
„DNA in popular culture functions, in many respects, as a secular equivalent of the Christian soul. Independent of the body, DNA appears to be immortal. Fundamental to identity, DNA seems to explain individual differences, moral order and human fate. Incapable of deceiving, DNA seems to be the locus of the true self, therefore relevant to the problems of personal authenticity posed by a culture in which the “fashioned self” is the body manipulated and adorned with the intent to mislead.”1

Analogue to the human body, the immaterial, collective body transfers its consciousness in “bodily fluids” (cash flow, floating assets, flow of information,...), whose nerve cells are communication network and media.
If in the third part of THE ARTIST IS PRESENT the potential blending of blood and the genetic material is intended, it is removed from this circle of affirmation and from the idea of pure blood. Using the intangible mechanisms of collective identity and denying a certain form.
The “low-tech” setting of THE ARTIST IS PRESENT does not admit euphoria to the fast growing bio technique and its fascinating imagery. An image is rather refused and instead of this a haptic option of decision is handed out to the viewer.

1 Dorothy Nelkin, M. Susan Lindee, The DNA Mystique. The Gene as a Cultural Icon, New York (Freeman&Co), 1995


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