posted on May, 6 2013 @ 04:25 PM
Believe the thread name is because I have to stay with the original link, I have no qualms over whether this is creepy or cool. This is seriously
something that I could have added to any forum, from social issues, to medical conspiracies, you name it it seems to cover it.
We (IMHO) are again embarking on something that I see as invasive, intrusive and down right offensive.
At 12:15 pm on January 6, 2013, Dewey-Hagborg collected a cigarette butt (above, right) on Myrtle Avenue (above, left) in Brooklyn, NY. Testing the
sample’s DNA revealed the smoker to be a male of Eastern European descent with brown eyes. Photos courtesy of Heather Dewey-Hagborg
Here are her results-
The artist produced this facial reconstruction from her DNA analysis of the cigarette butt she collected at Myrtle Avenue and Himrod Street. Image
courtesy of Heather Dewey-Hagborg.
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.
So I leave you with just this, as I seriously feel the thread speaks for itself.....
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?”