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Artist Snags Strangers’ DNA to Create

Friday, July 5, 2013

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Some describe a New York artist's 3D printing art as cool; others say it’s creepy—but it is sure to make one stop and think.

A Brooklyn-based artist is 3D printing portrait sculptures. But, it’s her method that some might not expect.

Heather Dewey-Hagborg collects hairs, chewed gum, and cigarette butts shed in public places and then sequences the DNA therein to print 3D images of what the owners might look like.

TEDblog / Vimeo

The artist collects hairs shed in public places and then sequences the DNA to print 3D sculptures of what the owners of that hair might look like.

She describes the technical process behind forensic project on her blog.

Not surprisingly, the art project, “Strangers Visions,” has stirred up a number of legal, privacy and bioethical issues, various reports say. The idea of genetic surveillance was a motivation behind the project, reports relate.

Her work is on exhibit until July 13 at the QF Gallery in East Hampton, Long Island.

A short TED documentary video about her project is posted here.

Many artists and designers are embracing the world of 3D printing these days, for example, a Dutch architect plans to 3D print a house.


Tagged categories: Artists; Color + Design; Designers; Research

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