In August 2014, the Center for Genome Innovation began collaboration with artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg, the Raymond and Beverly Sackler Artist in Residence at the University of Connecticut. Her grant funded work sought to bring together the worlds of Art and Forensic Science through the creation of portrait sculptures from analyses of genetic material collected in public places. Working with the traces strangers unwittingly leave behind (cigarette butts and used chewing gum, for example), Dewey-Hagborg calls attention to the impulse toward genetic determinism and the potential for a culture of biological surveillance.
For an example of forensic phenotyping at work in forensics, check out the company Identitas and read about their collaboration with the Toronto police. Also see Mark Shriver’s research at Penn State on predicting faces from DNA.
For more on Heather Dewey-Hagborg’s work, visit the Stranger Visions website.