When was the last time you unknowingly left behind a trace of your genetic information? I’m betting just yesterday you casually flicked a zoot end at a pigeon or dropped a hair on the ground as you scratcdch your head trying to figure out which god awful combination of night-busses are required to get home. Just by leaving the house chances are you have left some traceable information – and artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg has been close behind some people to retrieve it for her series “Stranger Visions”.
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Using things like dropped gum and fag butts, she extracts a DNA sample and uses a technique called “Polymerase Chain Reaction” (or as you and I know it “Crazy Science Shit”) to enhance certain areas that differ from person to person. She then analyses the DNA and feeds the results through a computer program that decodes it into genetic traits such as gender, eye colour, race, nose shape and a load of other facial features. This information is modelled in 3D on a computer and finally sent to a 3D printer where it is reconstructed in hauntingly realistic detail.
Whilst the sculptures aren’t 100% accurate recreations of the previous DNA owners, they have “a family resemblance” and as some information – such as age – can’t be determined they are all made to be 26 years old.
It sounds like a long-ass process that I can’t fully understand let alone explain but the results are really creepy/intriguing/amazing like any good art should be. Have a look and see if any of them are you from that time you did a cheeky bit of littering and thought no-one would find out. You bastard.
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