Book pages with 3-D prints of ancient viral capsids in artist frame, 9.25 x 11.25 x 3 inches each.

Arc considers the viral origins of neural plasticity and the biology of memory alongside the teleological conception of human history. The Arc protein started as a virus 400 million years ago and infected land mammals. While it is still unknown why somewhere in human’s biological evolution where Arc became useful and evolved it eventually solidified into the human genome and stopped evolving. Now, when mammals learn anything new or recall anything old, Arc is activated and acts as a conduit to neuronal plasticity and long and short-term retention of memory.

Arc contemplates that the rigid finality of the results of evolutionary psychology and cognition were a viral phenomenon as much as a linear progression of brains autonomously evolving. Borrowing from encyclopedias about the most important cross sections of human history and their resulting artifacts are paired with speculative 3-D prints of viral capsids that we now know evolved and infected our brain’s cells with memory allowing for a parallel conception of historical consciousness to occur. This cumulative effect took millions of years, but even in the short span of human history these viral capsids continued to act like viruses and half of the human genome has now been identified as originating from viral origins.

Copyright © 2024 Daniel R. Small. All rights reserved.