The DNA Thief: NYC Artist Creates Replica Face Sculptures From Your Discarded Gum

Careful where you leave your DNA, folks; an artist in New York named Heather Dewey-Hagborg (well, that’s unfortunate) has been creating 3D printed sculptures/busts of people’s faces built upon the DNA she has been able to scoop from chewing gum, cigarette butts, and strands of hair.

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“Whatever you do, don’t look up its nose.”

Dewey-Hagborg finds a sample, extracts the DNA from it using a “DNA Investigator Kit” that she says is readily available from Qiagen, an online healthcare/lab materials website, and then puts the sample through some rigorous analysis to determine the genetic make-up and appearance of her subject.

Her exhibit, titled Stranger Visions, is a collection of 3D printed faces of the subjects she has chosen and been able to analyze, and each one, interestingly, comes with additional (seemingly irrelevant, but otherwise interesting) details such as the wetness of the person’s earwax, their resistance to Malaria, and the likelihood that each person will become freckly or go bald.

While each piece is undoubtedly creepy, the overall concept is an intriguing one, and her work is groundbreaking and a sign of things to come in the art world.

As for me, I will now be leaving the house each day in a hazmat suit.

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“The wetness of my earwax is MY business!”

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2 thoughts on “The DNA Thief: NYC Artist Creates Replica Face Sculptures From Your Discarded Gum

  1. This is really interesting! Maybe people will think twice about where they put their gum.

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