Reflections in the Refuse


Heather With Head

If you’ve ever left something behind of yourself on the streets of New York City, it may turn up again…as you.

Sculptor Heather Dewey-Hagborg at Stranger Visions has transmuted traces of DNA, found on pieces of litter, into curious and (perhaps) familiar works of art. From collected remnants of human activity–ranging from cigarette butts to chewed gum–on New York sidewalks, she utilized a 3D printer to create sculpture portraits based on the genetic information.

But there’s a method to Dewey-Hagborg’s artistic creativity/ curiosity that she hopes calls attention to a less artistic but more disturbing concern: genetic determinism and the potential for a culture of genetic surveillance.