There is a desire to know where we come from. In itself, this is nothing new, nor is it symptomatic for the times we live in. How we tend to that desire, however, has changed significantly. In the quest for our heritage and the attempts to decipher our histories, the applied methods seamlessly dovetail with society’s shift towards individualisation. In the vain hope to achieve kinship, to discover our origins and a sense of belonging, we send out our DNA in order to attach personal truths to a test result.
Social media; targeted marketing; consumer culture; ‘how to be happy in six steps’; continuous behavioural monitoring; and an obsession with optimization and productivity: all are part and parcel of a single logic that pervades modern day society, which Guy Debord coined under the term ‘the society of the spectacle’.