In 2010, geneticists at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard deciphered the 3-dimensional structure of the Human Genome, calling it a fractal globule. This structure, resembling ramen noodle, a 5-micron x 2-meter strand of chromatin found in the nucleus of every human cell, is unknotted so that the cell can readily access the segment of DNA required for its particular function. From a distance, many of my genomic painted drawings and canvases are minimalist circles within squares. Upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that the circle is not solid, rather it is one densely wrought “fractal” line painted by a #00 brush, which in some pieces is over 800 yards long.
Like Erez’s investigations, my genomic work comes from the universal longing to understand our origins. For me, it also comes from a deeply personal place. This series has been my way of emotionally processing the mystery of my genetics due to having been the baby of a closed adoption.
In 2018 a commercial DNA test connected me with my birth-families.