by Melissa Faithful
Heather Dewey-Hagborg‘s work Stranger Visions is series of sculptures that not only do look human-like, they are human-like as the are made out of human DNA.
The artist produced these masks using genetic artifacts like chewing gum, fingernails, cigarette butts, things we all leave behind yet hold evidence of our DNA. After gleaning genetic information, Dewey-Hagborg physically reconstructed the profiles of the people that chewed the gums and smoked the cigarettes, using DNA phenotyping.
Even though it is difficult to determine how closely these sculptures match the DNA holders, they look like real people. Dewey-Hagborg aims to provoke questions of privacy and surveillance. How would you feel if you knew that someone created your human-mask out of the chewed gum you threw on the street?