Panel: Sniff, Scrape, Crawl: Part 1
“We used to think that our fate was in the stars. Now we know that, in large measure, our fate is in our genes.” _James Dewey Watson
Benji is a fictitious entity that journeys into the world of bio-information as a commodity and consequently envisions the prospects of genetic discrimination and the increasing personalization of marketing strategies. Named after the child of Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google.com and Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of 23andme.com (a privately held personal genomics and biotechnology company), Benji represents the ideological and economic union as historically practiced in royal political marriages and commonly witnessed in corporate mergers. Inheriting strands from both parents, Benji’s mission is to be the world’s leading DNA search engine. Using state of the art technology, Benji matches you directly to personalized advertisements based on your class rank which is determined by an advanced analysis of your genetic code. So revolutionary is it, that even behavioural patterns can be detected to predict and preempt every decision so that your consumer cravings may be satisfied. This narrative also touches on the supernatural powers that users imbue in search engines or perhaps technology in general. Reflecting on the irrational and yet convincing mechanisms of belief experienced in fortune telling and horoscopes, a certain willingness to believe is perhaps key in creating more possibilities to discriminate.
- Amy Suo Wu was born in China, raised in the suburbs of Sydney and currently resides in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. She graduated from the Willem de Kooning Academy (Rotterdam) with a BFA in Graphic Design and is presently furthering her studies at the Piet Zwart Institute, Master Media Design and Communication: Networked Media (Rotterdam). The nature of her practice explores the peripheries and overlapping edges where familiarity meets its unfamiliar counterpart. Her research reflects her interests and contemplations on the relationship between science, religion and spirituality, the interplay between history and fiction, and the nullifying contradictions between personal and collective truth. amysuowu.hotglue.me
Full text (PDF) p. 2623-2625