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September 26, 2006

Marco Villani


This is a net.art operation

Marco Villani's DNA has been analysed by the Forensic Science Laboratory of the University of Genova for identification purposes. Today, Villani will conduct a Net.art operation: he will put the results of his DNA profile online for people to download together with a text. Please e-mail him at info[at]marcovillani.net with your response; use "Dna on the net" in the subject line. Your comments will be posted on the site.

Also on the site is a video about the analysis of Villani's DNA with an interview to Doctor Simonetta Verdiani (on the site will be a little trailer).

This is an investigation into the concept of “Biopolitics” coined by the French philosopher Michel Foucault. It is a category which analyses the profound relationships that link the individual to power. This kind of link is based on a system of permanent reading of the subject in which science and technology converge. Every subject is a never-ending source of data which makes up an archive of knowledge through which it is possible to organise social behaviours. The topics range from demographics to psychology, psycho-attitudinal tests and medical tests.


Identity is the essence of a relationship, in which symbolic and biological systems and existential orbits tackling life’s complexities converge. The attractive pole around which these systems rotate is the subject, the termination declined according to the group of social-linguistic practices that form his or her ecological niche and take possession of the inner system. This process of appropriation is the place in which an individual is formed, in keeping with a social image. The desires that pulse in the body and the sadness that flows through it reside in the linguistic flows that are rooted within in his or her experience.

There’s no escape route towards an authenticity which isn’t an expression of the ability to decide, decided within the form of language. Strength works directly at primitive and unconscious level so that man perceives his inner qualities as natural as opposed to derived. But Self is a relationship. And it is from this characteristic that the possibility to communicate and receive communication germinates in bios, along with the possibility to be organised and dominated in keeping with the political ideas that man has expressed in the ages that have succeeded one another on the earth.

Biopolitics is the term used by Michel Foucault to describe this relationship. It indicates the dynamics through which the subject is possessed by the codes he or she has learned in order to observe the silence of things. These codes, added to the technical apparatus with which men surround themselves, are the shape taken on by collective behaviour.

The filing of the body and the analysis of the attitudes imprinted permanently on the individual by science, technique and jurisprudence, make up a technological device which allows the objectification of the subject in a complex combination of information, making social use possible.

This is possible because language acts as a code for the programming of behaviour and perception and its use by the subject as a model of cosmos does not fall within the scope of choice. It precedes choice in the same way that the fact that we are born with a body, two eyes, our own DNA and everything else precede choice. It isn’t possible to make a clear division between the biological level and linguistic level. There are numerous nuances that highlight how the linguistic aspect contains a biological residue and how the biological aspect contains a linguistic form. The Hopi tribes of New Mexico use a single term to describe blue and green together. This implies that their nervous perception identifies a single linguistic phenomenon, while our culture identifies two. In the same way, the Eskimos use twenty different words to say “white”.
Both of these dimensions are certain elements.

So is there a point of escape towards freedom? Towards choice?

This place is still the subject. The dimension of subjection to language and to the body as certain is realised within it, along with the possibility for criticism, which is born of the conjuncture with experience. It is here that language is exposed to the heterogeneous influence. And it is here that particles of entropy and desires collide with it, envelop it and cross it.

The inner dynamics of this process remain bio-linguistic, as there is no linguistic nudity. The reality we take possession of and which takes possession of us is, in any case, the result of a process of mediation implemented by a nervous system, whether it is linguistic, organic or both.

The profound structure that makes this kind of system possible is the fact that all things are part of a relationship. And this is the relationship between the already experienced aspect of language and the live experience of self, the original condition of the individual. A perpetual condition of crossing, of moving beyond, which is simply another way of staying put.

In this being constantly on the edge humanity becomes aware that it doesn’t have to realise any essence or substance or historical destiny. The apparatus that captivate it are always the ideological result of an historical conjuncture that carries individual and collective destinies within.

But destiny, seen from here, is a union of particles and, as such, has a place, a time and a body, which make it constantly up to date compared with all the magnetic flows which exercise their attraction upon it. This being up to date is the gap that blends the possibility of criticism and ethic experience.

Marco Villani, 2006

Posted by jo at September 26, 2006 08:09 AM