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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 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.
That said, the “Stranger Visions” project is a startling reminder of advances in both technology and genetics. “It came from this place of noticing that we are leaving genetic material everywhere,” says Dewey-Hagbog. “That, combined with the increasing accessibility to molecular biology and these techniques means that this kind of science fiction future is here now. It is available to us today. The question really is what are we going to do with that?”
Originally posted by jessejamesxx
The first thing I notice about this, is that she doesn't choose DNA from a source that could be found and compared to her work.
1381 Myrtle ave. Brooklyn, NY
MtDNA Haplogroup: H2a2a1 (Eastern European)
SRY Gene: present
HERC2 Gene: AA
Eye Color: Brown
Originally posted by FraternitasSaturni
thats really cool. Theres a problem with aging tho, buts still really cool.
The software parses about two dozen variables, including criminal record and geographic location. The type of crime and the age at which it was committed, however, turned out to be two of the most predictive variables.
“People assume that if someone murdered then they will murder in the future,” Berk told the news outlet. “But what really matters is what that person did as a young individual. If they committed armed robbery at age 14 that’s a good predictor. If they committed the same crime at age 30, that doesn’t predict very much.”
Shawn Bushway, a professor of criminal justice at the State University of New York at Albany told ABC that advocates for inmate rights might view the use of an algorithm to increase supervision of a parolee as a form of harassment, especially when the software produced the inevitable false positives. He said it could result in “punishing people who, most likely, will not commit a crime in the future.”
Originally posted by 3n19m470
Actually, I'm not married I was just imagining how some people would use it,