Creepy or Cool? Portraits Derived From the DNA in Hair and Gum Found in Public Places
2013-05-08 0:00

By Megan Gambino | Collage of Arts and Sciences


It started with hair. Donning a pair of rubber gloves, Heather Dewey-Hagborg collected hairs from a public bathroom at Penn Station and placed them in plastic baggies for safe keeping. Then, her search expanded to include other types of forensic evidence. As the artist traverses her usual routes through New York City from her home in Brooklyn, down sidewalks onto city buses and subway cars—even into art museums—she gathers fingernails, cigarette butts and wads of discarded chewing gum.

Do you get strange looks? I ask, in a recent phone conversation. “Sometimes,” says Dewey-Hagborg. “But New Yorkers are pretty used to people doing weird stuff.”

Dewey-Hagborg’s odd habit has a larger purpose. The 30-year-old PhD student, studying electronic arts at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, extracts DNA from each piece of evidence she collects, focusing on specific genomic regions from her samples. She then sequences these regions and enters this data into a computer program, which churns out a model of the face of the person who left the hair, fingernail, cigarette or gum behind.

It gets creepier.

From those facial models, she then produces actual sculptures using a 3D printer. When she shows the series, called “Stranger Visions,” she hangs the life-sized portraits, like life masks, on gallery walls. Oftentimes, beside a portrait, is a Victorian-style wooden box with various compartments holding the original sample, data about it and a photograph of where it was found.



[...]

Read the full article at: smithsonianmag.com




Related Articles


Latest News from our Front Page

An Occupied Country
2016-02-06 5:42
When people refer to occupation governments or occupied countries, the first thought is often of military occupation—the garrisoning of foreign troops in one’s cities and civil administration by their military executives. The other vision is the trope of a cabal of Haredim sitting in a darkly-lit boardroom with a map of the world on the wall, a dated reading of ...
Immortal Symbols 1941
2016-02-06 2:07
Youtube description: Dutch film "Eeuwig Leevende Tekens" by Hamer - "Volksche Werkgemeenschap" (Folkish Study Group) - ancestral heritage, solar wheel, sun cross, tree of life, etc. Subs by Otharus - http://fryskednis.blogspot.com Source: youtube.com
Ex-German media boss admits on live radio the national news agenda is govt controlled
2016-02-06 1:32
f you really want a lesson in how the Western popular press works, this is it. Without question, Germany is the leading power in Europe. ZDF is its state broadcaster and most popular channel. Together with sister network ARD; German's are obliged to pay €17.98 per month to fund it. This week, during a radio event in Berlin, the retired head of ZDF ...
British teenager is gang raped by 'Moroccan' men after being dragged into a car in Spain
2016-02-06 1:09
A British teenager claims to have been gang-raped in a Spanish resort after being dragged into a car by a group of Moroccan men, it was reported today. The 18-year-old claimed she was attacked while walking home from work late at night in Sabinillas, near Marbella. Police are said to be investigating a group of Moroccan men in the area. A British teenager ...
8 Ways Racially Diverse Schools Hurt White Kids
2016-02-06 1:02
Description from YouTube: I argue against Mother Jones Propaganda Link to the original Mother Jones Article: 3 Ways White Kids Benefit Most From Racially Diverse Schools Links to all the articles and other citations mentioned in my video can be found here: docdro.id/6CpKvgA Source: youtube.com
More News »