This artist collects DNA from discarded chewing gum and coffee cups to recreate the faces of these strangers

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The project Stranger Visions was created using the genetic material from strangers. (Photo: Instagram/ @hdeweyh
The project Stranger Visions was created using the genetic material from strangers. (Photo: Instagram/ @hdeweyh

You take the final sip of your takeaway coffee, toss the cardboard cup in a nearby bin and walk away without giving it another thought. But as soon as you’re gone, a stranger emerges from the shadows and fishes your cup from the bin.

A few months later you’re attending an art exhibition and there, on display for everyone in the gallery to see, is a 3D sculpture of your face.

It may sound far-fetched but this is exactly what American artist and bio-hacker Heather Dewey-Hagborg is doing. In an intersection of art and science, she uses DNA found on discarded chewing gum, cigarette butts and coffee cups to construct the faces of people she’s never met.

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