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  Faces recreated from DNA found in chewing gums
   
   
 
 
 
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6th May 2013, 8:55 AM
Yes you read it right, Heather Dewey-Hagborg makes 3D portraits from the DNA collected from objects like cigarette butts or chewing gums she picks from sidewalks, tossed away by strangers.



Heather got the inspiration while sitting in a therapy session. As she was starring at a framed picture on the wall, she began to focus on a hair that was stuck in a tiny crack on the glass. She began to imagine who this hair belonged to and how the person that the little hair belonged to might look like. This is how she began extracting DNA from different objects used objects found on the streets. She gathers the DNA extracts with a so called PCR (Polymer Chain Reaction) technique, then sends the results off to a lab for sequencing only to get back the sequences of nucleotides that compose DNA. She feeds these sequences to a custom program she wrote herself to get the parameters needed for a 3D model of a face. She then adds the finishing touches in a 3D software, exports it into a 3D printing format and finally prints the faces on a Zcorp 3D printer.

The results are still approximations of strangers who's DNA was unknown to them, collected from the cigarette butts and chewing gums they spit out in random streets. She says she is in the process of studying gender, ancestry, eye color, hair color, freckles, lighter or darker skin, and certain facial features like nose width and distance between eyes.

Bellow you can see the samples, streets where the samples were picked and faces that came out 3D printed based on the collected DNA sequences.


January 6, 2013 at 12:25pm; Wilson ave. and Stanhope St. Brooklyn, NY; MtDNA Haplogroup: D1 (Native American, South American); SRY Gene: present; Gender: Male; HERC2 Gene: AA; Eye Color: Brown


January 6, 2013 qt 12:15pm; 1381 Myrtle ave. Brooklyn, NY; MtDNA Haplogroup: H2a2a1 (Eastern European); SRY Gene: present; Gender: Male; HERC2 Gene: AA; Eye Color: Brown


Myrtle ave. and Himrod St. Brooklyn, NY; MtDNA Haplogroup: T2b (European); SRY Gene: absent; Gender: Female; HERC2 Gene: AA; Eye Color: Brown


33 Flatbush Ave. Brooklyn, NYMtDNA; Haplogroup: L1b (West African, African American); SRY Gene: present; Gender: Male; HERC2 Gene: AA; Eye Color: Brown


Heather Dewey-Hagborg herself, with genetically derived self-portrait.

In Stranger Visions artist 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. To find out even more about Heather, check out her Blog.

changed: KidCurious (6th May 2013, 6:35 PM)
 
 
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6th May 2013, 9:50 AM
Fascinating project. I wonder how similar to the DNA owners those faces really are. Her self-portrait is pretty accurate but I bet she did a lot of "manual" corrections for the final 3D image.
 
 
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6th May 2013, 9:52 AM
Imagine the coincidence her picking up the gum you spit out and later on finding yourself on a wall as a part of her exhibition. It's possible, stranger things have been known to happen.
 
 
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6th May 2013, 9:54 AM
Great piece Kid you really are on the roll. Where did she learn to extract DNA from samples?
 
 
 
   
   
 
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