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

accreditation
Share your Subscriber Article
You have 5 articles to share every month. Send this story to a friend!
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
loading...
Loading, please wait...
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
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.

Read this for free
Get 14 days free to read all our investigative and in-depth journalism. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed.
Subscribe
Already a subscriber? Sign in
LATEST YOU
LATEST YOU
Read your favourite magazine in a convenient PDF form.
Read now