DescriptionThe personal DNA analysis offered by Ancestry.com via their AncestryDNA service provides residents of the United States, United Kingdom, and Ireland with the opportunity to learn more about their heritage by associating hundreds of thousands of genetic markers, extracted from a saliva sample, with their geographic sources. Millions have undergone this autosomal DNA testing in an effort to get to know their past by delving deeply into their microscopic cells. Including the results of this examination into Ancestry.com’s almost unfathomably extensive genealogical database containing over 16 billion historical entries allows customers to fit their genetic profile into an incredible web of connected, data-driven identities.
The cost of this service is currently $99, but by sending your genetic material to AncestryDNA for analysis, you also give that company a perpetual, royalty-free, world-wide, transferable license to use your DNA for whatever reason they see fit. Your genetic code is thus freed to take on a life of its own in their hands.
Artist Paul Vanouse (b. 1967) explores this process of genetic sequencing, or “fingerprinting,” by manipulating genomes to produce intentional images.
Researcher: Alison Langmead