Stranger Visions, Dublin: Sample 6
Stranger Visions, Dublin: Sample 9
Stranger Visions, 2012-2013
Courtesy of the artist and Fridman Gallery
Stranger Visions is a series of 3D-printed portraits based on DNA samples the artist collected on the streets of New York City.
In the sample boxes placed under the masks, there are cigarette butts, hairs and chewed gum, along with the date, location, and a photograph of the location where the samples were found.
Dewey-Hagborg extracted DNA from the anonymous trash left in public spaces to determine genetic profiles of the strangers. A public version of the genetic profiling code is available as an open source archive on internet, along with tutorials and related information on Dewey-Hagborg's blog.
Invisible is a suite of two complementary products: the Erase spray deletes 99.5% of the DNA one leaves in public places, while the Replace spray cloaks biological material with DNA noise. Surprisingly, they are fully-functional products available for purchase.
These works hint at the near future, in which genetic data collection will be as common as collecting personal information online.
- Born 1982 in Philadelphia, USA
- Based in New York, USA
After training in computer science and the arts, and pursuing research in AI and machine learning, Heather Dewey-Hagborg creates work that encourages us to think about issues of DNA privacy and surveillance. For Stranger Visions, based on the probable phenotypes derived from analysis of DNA extracted from things like hairs, cigarette butts, or gum left in public spaces, she created 3D printed sculptures which might or might not resemble the people who dropped those objects. Invisible is a set of products created by an imaginary biotechnology company: a spray that deletes 99.5% of the DNA, and a spray that cloaks biological material with DNA noise. Both of these works sparked controversy around the world, looking critically at issues of the exploitation, without consent, of biological information such as a person's cells and DNA for commercial or academic gain.
Selected Works & Awards
|2018||Genomic Intimacy, MU, Eindhoven, the Netherlands|
|2018||Probably Chelsea, Kunsthall 3.14, Bergen, Norway|
|2018||Stranger Visions, PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art, Perm, Russia|
|2018||The Future Starts Here, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK|
|2017||.COM/.CN - Co-presented by KAF and MoMA PS1, K11 Art Space, Shanghai|
Aichi Prefectural Museum of Art (10F)
1-13-2 Higashisakura,Higashi-ku, Nagoya
・5 minutes on foot from Sakae-Machi Station on the Meitetsu Seto Line.