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Action piece constructed five times at various locations including warehouse nightclub "Trust Me Daddy Vol. 3", G Spot Gallery, BOX13 Artspace Houston TX and Presa House Gallery San Antonio TX

Photo documentation by Tere Garcia

Sub Scientist Booth 

2017

DNA extraction equipment, a constriction medium, submissive scientist.

"The Sub Scientist Booth takes on many forms, at times imitating a street vendor at a nightclub, or a gallery servant, its conceptual basis consists of a scientist restrained (with a rosary leash, fence chain, clay shackles, etc.) while they extract participants’ DNA substance. Using only household items such as salt and water to mouth swish cheek cells; the process takes less than 5 minutes to execute all while the participant observes. The participant takes home a raw sample of extracted DNA substance from the scientist in exchange for their own. On occasion, blood is also given as an exchange."

The extracted DNA collected from participants are integrated and stored into ceramic abacuses. The vials are non-labeled therefore some vials contain more than one person’s extracted DNA substances. The centrifuge tubes are never openly exposed and the substances never tested through industrial processes such as for ancestry, or medical reasons. 

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The diagram illustrates the flow of information the Sub Scientist Booth situates itself in. The booth’s main operation is a trade of bodily substance known as DNA between a scientist and public. The scientist extracts DNA from a participant only to store it in substance storage structures and in return, the scientist gives the participant a sample of their own extracted DNA packaged inside a centrifuge tube, becoming owner of the substance.

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The Sub Scientist Booth changes modes within the context it is presented, though the overall ritual always stays the same. A scientist, or anyone who enacts the DNA extraction method to the public, is always body restrained. The restraint of the body functions as a “submission” to a scientific system and ultimately a “servitude” to community. The scientist becomes a variable within the ritual experiment along with the public.

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The logo used in The Second International Eugenics Conference held at the American Museum of Natural History in New York 1921 gets re-depicted as a "dying" tree with an outdated banner laying on a ground of fallen leaves. The canvas painting is used as an object with clay rosary beads attached to the limbs of the Sub Scientist.

The receivership of the scientist’s extracted DNA packaged inside a centrifuge tube gives the participant agency over the scientist’s bodily information and the possibilities of how it can move through time. Some participants store it in their home freezer to extend its lifetime, some place it within vanity dressers as memorabilia, some travel with it in their purse, some plan to pass it down through generations, or some conduct their own experiments with it.

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Gallery

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