In 2015 I completed a body of artwork which culminated in a limited-edition artist book, Hidden in Plain Sight. I was inspired by letters found in 2009 in the attic of my childhood home. They were from my mother’s parents in Leipzig, Germany, who were subsequently lost in the Holocaust and about whom I knew very little. The letters had been sent to my mother in Memphis, Tennessee, between 1939 and 1941. From one survivor, my mother, there are now 25 of us.
In my effort to express the connectivity of my maternal grandparents to these unlikely future generations, I began to explore my heritage through popular sites. But it was an evocative depiction of the genome of the zika mosquito in The New York Times that caught my attention. I decided that the link between our generations could be expressed using my genome as an art form, and had my own sequenced.
With my karyotype and four nucleic acid bases in hand, I decided to investigate both my analog and digital genetic history and to articulate it through my newly found language of shapes and letters. With access to a printmaking studio and a digital fabrication lab, I was able to combine classic printmaking processes with contemporary technology.
Through the manipulation of my chromosomal images and sequenced genome I seek to connect past and future generations through science and art.