differences among people has often allowed for exploitation,
marginalization, segregation and alienation. Inside our DNA we carry
genetic markers that prove that we share the same ancestors and are one
Cortada’s interdisciplinary work depicts the ancestral journeys of this
Hemisphere's current inhabitants as a route to liberation. In their
blood they capture evidence of the routes their deep ancestors took from
their original journey out of Africa 60,000 years ago. By marking the
appearance and frequency of genetic markers in modern humans, we can
determine when and where ancient humans moved around the world.
The art piece uses genetic data (collected from individuals born across the Americas
and tested through the Genographic Project) to explore how nature
influenced human migration and history. The artist will create a
portrait of his maternal and paternal ancestors' journeys as they
populated this hemisphere. All of our Hemisphere's ancestral journeys
lead back to the same place. Showing us that we are all one human
family, our DNA helps us find that our "liberator” is inside of us,
our ancestors, the natural world was the only world. They navigated
through it —slowly moving where nature provided them with better
opportunities to hunt and gather.
the biggest threat we face is a lack of connection to one another and
to our natural world. This work shows that we are descended from folks
who walked through Africa 60,000 years ago.
stayed there. Others left Africa and populated the remainder of the
Eastern Hemisphere. Some of their descendants began arriving in the
Americas during the last 500 years.
12,000 years-ago, a small group of their descendants (including the
artist’s maternal ancestors) chased reindeer through Siberia and across
the Bering Straits. Within two millennia these few dozen people
had populated the Americas.
time immemorial, factions, whether based on nationalism, race,
religion, sexual orientation, class or ethnicity, have created distance
between people who are genetically the same. All humans capacity to free
their minds of prejudices and practices that are destroying our
societies and our planet.
DNA from a diverse group of individuals, the artist creates work that
will help change the way we see one another and to liberate ourselves
from false notions of who we are-- or aren’t.