Some words from a patron:

It took me several beats longer than was probably necessary to take the plunge and commission James for a data portrait. There is, at least for me, and I wager I am not alone, vulnerability and decorum insecurity inherent in steering a professional relationship into personal commission territory.

James entered my sphere when I was interning at a contemporary art museum, where I came across his work in the curatorial inbox. I responded to the particulars of his personal human grapple with order versus chaos…a theme that is inherently significant, as we’re all driven to reach for order. I was struck by his aesthetic display of harnessed genetic makeup, which creates a work of art that does not ignore the limitations innate in human myth making, but rather embraces outlier data in the hope of forming new orders.

A person is hard pressed not to speculate on the aesthetic particulars of their own DNA portrait when faced with other works that display a personal innermost to the extent James’s work achieves. I knew early on that I needed a DNA portrait by James Pricer to be the first piece in my eventual collection of commissions…it was just a matter of when. The process was much simpler than I expected; all I had to do was ask.

James chooses data and mines patterns to include viewer and subject participation. The beginning part of the process is coming to an understanding of the person and gathering the data, such as DNA, tracking monitors, etc. The final product of my DNA portrait (both the video and stills) reflect both general and specific aspects of my personal experiences (culled by James through conversation) through James’s perspective. When it came to making decisions on choosing a print, it was important to both James and me that we were both happy with the final result. Because the essence of the piece is collaborative and multi-perspectival, both perspectives should have been, and were, satisfied.

Maryhelen Murray

Here are the prints and video: