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Lamina (2000) is a microsatellite sequence of Cooper's ACE gene. The ACE gene is thought to be responsible for aspects of athleticism and is one of the genes under scrutiny with western Kenyan runners and why they keep winning Olympic medals. How is a genetic advantage different from performance enhancing drugs? What is your gene line or cell line worth? Do you own it?

Lamina is involved with ideas of translation but incorporates notions of identity and ownership into the equation. The signifiers of identity and how they are manifested or translated out into the tangible world are evolving or extending. Visible physical signifiers of identity (face, fingerprint, body shape) and cultural signifiers of identity (name, mannerisms, personal history, ID numbers) are being eclipsed in importance by what were once invisible signifiers of identity. DNA determines not just physicality but also personality. Indeed some experts argue that over 40% of your personality is predetermined. Cooper's intention is to neither support nor obliterate the idea of the individual as seen through the eyes of modern scientific endeavor. However she sees a possibility for experiencing identity as a series of shifting meanings, and translatable events. Each Lamina sculpture is a unique piece, the sequencing obtained from the DNA of the prospective new owner*.
For a consultation regarding what gene might be appropriate for you please contact the artist.

*The artist agrees not to sell or sustain your cell line

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