Anatomy and Art

a blog by Sara Egner

DNA Derived Portraits

without comments

One of our speakers at the AMI conference, I’m thinking it must have been Andrew Hessel, spoke about artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg who is making portraits based on DNA from found discarded cigarette butts and gum.

About a week later I saw this article circulating around from the Smithsonian

which included this photo taken by Dan Phiffer, of Heather posing alongside her own DNA derived portrait.

The process, as I understand it, involves extrapolating a DNA sequence, and looking for particular genomic traits and likelihoods to construct a facial model.  She then uses a 3D printer to print the model out and finishes off the sculpture.

To answer the question posed by the Smithsonian article, it’s really pretty damn cool, and *also* super creepy in it’s implications.  In an age when Americans are panicking about their online actions being tracked, the idea of our very streets being hacked for the details of our whereabouts, and health information is downright spooky.  I know I’d rather discover such capabilities from an awesome art project like this than by really any other way though.

Written by Sara

August 1st, 2013 at 10:17 pm

Posted in Uncategorized