Hybrid Art

Suspect Inversion Center

Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions

Paul Vanouse (US)


Cyberarts 2013 - International Compendium Prix Ars Electronica 2013

Suspect Inversion Center (SIC) is an open working laboratory where artist Paul Vanouse and assistant Kerry Sheehan recreate DNA evidence from the 1995 OJ Simpson murder trial: using the artist’s own DNA. The installation consists of semicircular lab tables and shelves containing all the necessary equipment to perform the activities of the Suspect Inversion Center. Vanouse and Sheehan continuously perform the work, during daily gallery operations, witnessed by visitors to the exhibition. When the work is complete and the original DNA image has been reasonably accurately reproduced, the “reverse-engineered” copy and the original are displayed side by side, along with the full chemical “recipes” used to create the images. SIC invites the audience to observe each step of the laboratory process and interact with the experimenters. “After more than two years of working to reproduce this image the first success took place in March 2013. We will be continuing this month to make additional reproductions with alternate imaging technologies, with the aim of improving even further—I will be posting these on the website.”

In Suspect Inversion Center, Vanouse is not simply making his DNA look like the original suspect DNA, but using his own DNA to recreate an entire historical DNA document by scrutinizing every component of the authoritative DNA artifact. The history of art is replete with such intentional reproduction: from students’ copying a master’s painting, to art forgeries, to pop and postmodern appropriation, but of course each has radically different connotations and affects upon the “original”.

Supported by Ernst Schering Foundation and Beall Center, UC Irvine