VISUALIZING THE RANDOM NATURE OF GENETIC MUTATIONS
This self-portrait is a visual manifestation and expression of the random and relatively rare occurrence of genetic mutations over time. The highly repetitive and frequent nature of cellular replication inevitably allows for mutations, or alterations in the DNA, to randomly occur according to a small statistical probability that is embedded in every juncture of replication. In turn, these mutations are passed on, resulting in a jackpot or concentrated distribution in successive generations. My grade school pictures stand in for replicating cells, as they document my physical progression in a relatively standard, uniform format. The content of the images is used to delineate the potentially positive, negative, and neutral effects of innate spontaneous mutations, prompted by a random number generator. The model for positive change includes growth and positive evolution, as illustrated by the next year’s school picture. Negative change includes regression and deviation from the standard pose, as expressed by an earlier age’s formal portrait. Neutral change involves an alteration that does not demonstrate a palpable change in the visual information, as shown by flipping the image across the vertical. An external mutagen was also introduced by blurring an image every time my phone rang during the production process.
SECTOR B: Art & Culture of Seeing
ADVISERS: Paul Sniegowski | Jackie Tileston