Jesse Lee Vargas

archival digital print face-mounted to Plex – 13 x 19 in.

Shifting through memories, heritable experiences, I have found physical connections in material photographs to my own genetic components. The experiences of the other (of genetic familial relation) are and have become my personal physical and psychic reality. My alterations, and digitally abraded mutations of these original images become a relationship through which I discover and reaffirm my belonging to them and I to my ancestors.

This series is centered around the scientific phenomena/study of Epigenetics. The study of genetic inheritance thru DNA affected by environmental stimuli, mutated, then transferred from one generation to another. I dialogue with the study of heredity and environment, empiricism, romanticism and dualism. I investigate, what makes us who we are. Are we blank slates formed by nature or nurture, inherently good, innocent, noble, savages or mechanically driven, separated from immortal minds?