Stranger Visions is a series of 3D portraits made using DNA from chewing gum, cigarette butts and hairs Dewey-Hagborg finds on the streets and in the subways. She takes these to a lab where she separates gene sequences herself, and then sends sections away to another lab for DNA analysis. This analysis helps her determine a number of traits including sex, ethnic background, eye colour, hair colour, height, likelihood of freckles and propensity for obesity. She has developed custom software that then generates a 3D model based on these genes, which she prints on a 3D printer to achieve a life-size portrait.
Dewey-Hagborg displays the portraits together with a little box containing information gleaned about the person from the DNA testing, the original piece of chewed gum or cigarette butt, and a photograph of the spot where she found it.
Watch Heather Dewey Hagborg talk about her artistic process below