Genes of Stupidity

@Online [Feb 2014]

Playing with nationalist clichés about the alleged racial superiority of greeks but also a generalised web conspiracy-mania, FYTA presented an imaginary study correlating stupidity with a particular gene in the DNA of the greek population. The research, appearing as part of a genetic project of a large English university, also posed a question on a scientific discourse that builds psychosocial analyses on controversial genetic data. Despite the ridiculously naive initial position that suggests ‘greeks’ fall behind mentally due to genetics, and despite the minimal effort put so that the video looks reasonably ‘realistic,’ it became viral in just a few hours, with thousands of reposts and playbacks. The hundreds of abusive comments on youtube and facebook bypassed the obvious troll-ish character of the video and preferred to build an entire conspiracy surrounding the dark intentions of foreign powers seeking the elimination of Hellenism. The patriotic comments came from sources all through the political spectrum: from the far right all the way to the anti-austerity left.

The project Genes of Stupidity was created in collaboration with biologist-artist Astero Kappa