Making Art From the DNA You Leave Behind
Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg’s “Stranger Visions” project started with a question: What could she learn about a person by collecting one of their stray hairs? In an age of ever-cheaper DNA sequencing, the answer turned out to be “a lot.” Dewey-Hagborg’s portraits of strangers, made with DNA samples found in public places, called attention to the feasibility of DNA snooping. Now with her latest project, “Invisible,” she wants to put the tools to protect genetic privacy in consumers’ hands. But is total genetic privacy really possible?
Heather Dewey-Hagborg is an artist and Ph.D. candidate in electronic arts at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Brooklyn, New York.
Buzz Scherr is a law professor at the University of New Hampshire in Concord, New Hampshire.