Artists Recreates Strangers’ Faces From Discarded DNA On NYC’s Streets

You’ve been leaving yourself everywhere. For her ongoing project Stranger Visions, Heather Dewey-Hagborg culls discarded DNA (in the form of cigarette butts, chewed gum, et cetera) from the New York sidewalk and then uses a 3D printer to create sculpture portraits based on the genetic information. A reminder that we may soon need to guard our DNA tightly?

Heather Dewey-Hagborg creates portrait sculptures from analyses of genetic material collected in public places. Working with the traces strangers unwittingly leave behind, Dewey-Hagborg calls attention to the impulse toward genetic determinism and the potential for a culture of genetic surveillance.

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  • Cleaner

    Those are awesome!

  • echar

    This is slightly disquieting.

    • Ittabena

      No it’s really, really creepy. I have no doubt how this has impacted her sex life, or from the quality of her smile, lack there of. I mean can you imagine coming home and saying “Hi honey” to this one?

      • echar

        I don’t know but visions of Gattaca are going through my mind right now.

        • Ittabena

          Downloading now. How did I miss this one? 1997? Yeah, wouldn’t have caught my attention right then…

          • echar

            Gattaca is pretty good.

          • echar

            Gattaca is pretty good.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

            Jerome, Jerome the metronome.

          • echar

            It’ been so long that I had to find a refresher

            WARNING spoiler

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOK3PCKH17E

      • feint_ruled

        I call bullshit on the whole face recreation thing, but it’s a strange Victorian era reaction to a female artists work merely to speculate on how it affects her marriageability or sex life!

        • Ittabena

          Art? H.H. Holmes thought of his work as art too. A friendly word of caution, never read my posts with your P.C. goggles on. They are too thick and do not allow reality to seep through, obviously. I for one broke mine long ago when I figured out they were misleading and pointless, which is the only reason anyone would be here…

          Victorian era? I hear a cat laughing outside my window. I wouldn’t climb into bed with myself if I did this sort of thing. “Hi, honey, did you find any useful saliva residue from total strangers today?” That’s some kind of art. Meh!

          What’s next, toilet fish art?

        • Ittabena

          Art? H.H. Holmes thought of his work as art too. A friendly word of caution, never read my posts with your P.C. goggles on. They are too thick and do not allow reality to seep through, obviously. I for one broke mine long ago when I figured out they were misleading and pointless, which is the only reason anyone would be here…

          Victorian era? I hear a cat laughing outside my window. I wouldn’t climb into bed with myself if I did this sort of thing. “Hi, honey, did you find any useful saliva residue from total strangers today?” That’s some kind of art. Meh!

          What’s next, toilet fish art?

      • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

        I dunno. I like smart artsy chicks with weird quirks like that.

  • feint_ruled

    Sooo.. you can’t actually rebuild someone’s face from their DNA (if you can then the police are really missing a trick). So where the hell do they pull these likenesses from?

  • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

    I would tend to think this involves a lot of creativity for any feature beyond sex and eye color. I would be curious to know just how much is known in terms of facial features and the genes that code for them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=742104313 Adam Goodwin

    The mysterious phenomenon of morphogenesis is responsible for facial features, NOT DNA.

  • BuzzCoastin

    an interesting 8 minute piece about is here
    http://x2t.com/1/DNA
    in the story
    there’s a person whose DNA was given to her
    and he seemed rather surprised at the likeness she produced

    • http://twitter.com/TedHeistman Ted Heistman

      Holy shit! She got a lot closer than I would have thought!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Roger-Willcoe/100001272881250 Roger Willcoe

    Invasion of privacy. That’s not my butt. Wait till see gets a reptoid and commits suicide.

  • nostrafarious

    This is bullshit. Can’t be done to the level implied. Maybe they can determine geographical likelihood, but this article is crap.

  • nostrafarious

    This is bullshit. Can’t be done to the level implied. Maybe they can determine geographical likelihood, but this article is crap.

  • $4251815

    Apparently one or two people (who may even be related) are littering that city’s streets.