The Bomar Gene

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While most social dynamics focus on the exterior of the human condition, the outward body and its many appearances, it is the interior, the cellular level of humanness that has the greatest influence on who we become. And yet, those microscopic worlds inside our bodies, the genetic codes that drive our growth and eventual dissolution have eluded any attempt at full comprehension. Yet these discoveries are, sadly, subject to power relations that claim ownership over gene sequences and sell back to us cynical futurities of an ideal human form through genetic manipulation. This new science, what some are calling 'the hinge' in contemporary human development, drives and bursts the net-based new media creation "The Bomar Gene".

The premise of "The Bomar Gene" is that within every human there is a singular gene, unique only to that individual. And with that gene comes a singular ability, a rare, mostly never realized capacity for interacting with the world. "The Bomar Gene" explores this mythical gene, through a series of ficto-biographies, with each story being re-translated and spatialized through interactive interfaces and embodied animations. Each section opens up such questions as: How are we defined by our genetic code? What does it mean to be an individual, to be unique? What are the implications of a society obsessed with rare abilities and super-powers? Each interface/section not only explores the realms of culture and individuality and genetics, but also attempts to innovate new methods of net based aesthetics and arouse alternatives for user interaction with artistic content.

The layering of ideas, of various notions of how our internal forms recreate our external reach, is explored through the multiple paths, the weaving of sound, scrolling text and dynamically explorative images. And then within the layers and stories are nine interfaces, the hands of this net-artwork, they not only serve to display information, but to alter the way the user connects with the content, to become digital fingers for fictional genes.

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Jill Walker Rettberg