green design, eco design, sustainable design, East Hampton, QF Gallery, 3d printed faces, DNA sequencing, Heather Dewey-Hagborg, DNA & Dust, art and technology, 3d printed art

Dewey-Hagborg was first inspired to use DNA sequencing to create art when she noticed a strand of hair stuck in a framed piece of art. She began seeing stray hairs everywhere she went, and became inspired to fuse art and science into an incredibly innovative body of work.

After collecting her samples from Penn Station, public parks and other areas around the city, Dewey-Hagborg brings them to Brooklyn’s Genspace Biotech Lab, where DNA sequencing is performed on the samples in 40 different genomes. The artist then checks for potential traits implied by the DNA. The findings are then run through a face-generating program that Dewey-Hagborg modified from an existing program. Although the faces may not be accurate, the DNA gives a general idea, or suggestion, of what the original “donor” may have looked like. The formulated faces are 3D-printed, then airbrushed to look like hauntingly realistic faces. They are displayed alongside a kit containing the original sample in a petri dish, a photograph of the location where the sample was found, and the DNA profile found on the sample.

Six of Dewey-Hagborg’s incredible science-meets-fine-art sculptures are on view at QF Gallery in East Hampton.

+ QF Gallery

+ Heather Dewey-Hagborg

Images ©Lori Zimmer for Inhabitat