[PROJECT PRESENTATION] “The Mirror of Faith” by Boryana Rossa

Boryana Rossa presents the project “The Mirror of Faithgranted in the framework of the second edition of  Spring Sessions programme.

The Mirror of Faith” is bio-art project, meant to provoke critical public dialogue about genetic research, exposing some issues this technology and its political and commercial promotion creates. The project is related to the research of the molecular biologist Dean Hamer on genetic predisposition of human spirituality. In his book, The God Gene, Hamer claims that the VMAT2 gene encodes for a protein (brain chemical) that affects self-transcendence, spirituality or faith. A specific mutation in the DNA of intron 7 upstream of the VMAT2 gene coding sequence is thought to be related to people who have faith or spirituality.

Initial attention was caught by the media representation of this research and the controversies it contained. To reflect the central issue of embodiment and the harsh juxtaposition within nature/nurture argument, presented in media, we decided to create a literal illustrationof these controversies. We decided to produce a genetically modified Transcendental Bacteria of Faith. We thought that by genetically modifying the two basic organisms in life, bacteria and yeast, with the god gene (science), that is associated with high levels of spirituality and faith (religion) we could create the perfect juxtaposition to spotlight the controversies and ignite discussion and critical thought once again. Involvement with this “absurd scenario” is a re-thinking of the notion of “genetically predisposed faith,” but also “faith” or “belief” in the media representation of science and religion.

During her residency at Hangar, Boryana Rossa has been working with Dr. Michael Edel and Dr. John Gibling in the premises of the Pluripotency Laboratory of Universitat de Barcelona.

“The Mirror of Faith” is a project developed in the framework of Hangar’ Spring Session #2 –Grid Spinoza programme and the project Soft Control, which has the support of the European Commission.

16th July 2014 at18h

Venue: Hangar

C/ Emilia Coraty 16


Full text of the project

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