[-empyre-] Performing Networks - Epigenesis ane Athrthopomophisis

patrick lichty p at voyd.com
Sat Jun 23 04:36:18 AEST 2018

I'm loving this month, and am actually trying to get back into
reading/writing, as some new projects are coming.

The DNA thread is crazy, because in mine I have a time bit of Ashkenazi,
some Indigenous American (which is part of my family's apocryphal
mythology) and a lot of European.
The strange thing is that a lot of this fits with my Ancetry.Com profile,
which I feel is the internet version of 21ANDME, but it's done my the

The funny thing about this is that while my Dad's side gest lost in what
would become Germany in the 1600's , my mother's side (thanks to the
Catholics) apparently boomerangs up through Englang through the
Richardi/Eleanor of Aquitaine crew into France and then disappears in the
700's in the Merovingian era

-----Original Message-----
From: empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
<empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au> On Behalf Of BStalbaum
Sent: Monday, June 18, 2018 11:45 PM
To: empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
Subject: Re: [-empyre-] rehearsal of a network - [week 3]

DNA kits have become hilarious, painfully unaware self parodies of the
will toward cultural appropriation. (Just for one example: 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84LnTrQ2us8 ) Of course I say this as a
citizen of the U.S. Our context is particular and perverse, one in which
some substantial proportion of the white population believes they are in
the "blood line" (we still have a lot of strong premodern beliefs like
"the blood"...) of indigenous North American peoples. Most of whom we
killed, so the common case of whites who make very strong claims to native
ancestry is particularly perverse. It is only ~100 years since the open,
armed hunting of native people was still taking place here, basically
unopposed by civil society, even in now liberal California. 
Actually I live in one of the last places in the US where this genocidal
practice was commonly practiced, and is well documented. But people in my
state hardly own up to it, and my own University system is deeply
implicated. (Look up the history of Kroeber Hall at Berkeley, for
example.) To put a personal spin on the matter, I have a couple of true
believers in my own very white family. Honestly, people who have "dream
catchers", believe they are part of a tribe - they are not registered and
can not register with any actual tribe - and who believe that their blood
puts them in deeper touch with the spirits of the land. I am not popular
at family events, as you might imagine;-) Calling these false beliefs out,
even among whites only, is still quite incendiary here.

An other example of the obscene nature of this common identity theft comes
in the figure of US senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. She was
raised with these false beliefs, that she had natives in her family tree,
and yes I do believe she has suffered a lot of well deserved embarrassment
in the process of slowly coming around to personally owning her false
family narrative. She is an otherwise sympathetic figure in most ways, and
I should note, our president has belittled her in an explicitly racist
manner, demonstrating the continuum between the soft and hard forms of
racism in my country.

DNA is fraught, we should be very careful call it out when we see it used
as an identity prop for cultural appropriation. Our networks are full of
this kind of theft and positioning, as if such reductive DNA results can
possibly mean more than our experience within the more tangible web of
social relations; how we individually experience privilege and
discrimination. (Including generational effects.)

Or that your DNA is what makes you a German or a Scot, as in the
ridiculous commercial for Ancestry [.com] But in the US, the commercial
shows how common these weird and often racist beliefs are. It is so sick,
I feel like there must be lot of cultural specificity to it. I'd love to
hear about how these DNA kits are playing out in other places.

On 06/18/2018 07:37 AM, lizvlx wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space---------------------- 
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu

More information about the empyre mailing list