• Born 1982 in Philadelphia, USA
  • Based in New York, USA
  • Photo: Ana Brigada

After training in computer science and the arts, and pursuing research in AI and machine learning, Heather Dewey-Hagborg creates work that encourages us to think about issues of DNA privacy and surveillance. For Stranger Visions, based on the probable phenotypes derived from analysis of DNA extracted from things like hairs, cigarette butts, or gum left in public spaces, she created 3D printed sculptures which might or might not resemble the people who dropped those objects. Invisible is a set of products created by an imaginary biotechnology company: a spray that deletes 99.5% of the DNA, and a spray that cloaks biological material with DNA noise. Both of these works sparked controversy around the world, looking critically at issues of the exploitation, without consent, of biological information such as a person’s cells and DNA for commercial or academic gain.

Selected Works

Genomic Intimacy, MU, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Probably Chelsea, Kunsthall 3.14, Bergen, Norway
Stranger Visions, PERMM Museum of Contemporary Art, Perm, Russia
The Future Starts Here, Victoria and Albert Museum, London, UK
.COM/.CN - Co-presented by KAF and MoMA PS1, K11 Art Space, Shanghai
  • Stranger Visions, 2012-2013
  • Courtesy of the artist and Fridman Gallery