Heather Dewey-Hagborg is a transdisciplinary artist and educator who is interested in art as research and critical practice. Dewey-Hagborg has been working on DNA-derived portraits since 2012, a process that is both a contribution to portraiture as well as a novel development in the field of genetics-based arts. Her controversial biopolitical art practice includes the project Stranger Visions, in which she created portrait sculptures from analyses of genetic material (hair, cigarette butts, chewed up gum) collected in public places. Her most recent work Probably Chelsea (2017) is a collection of several DNA-derived sculptural portraits of Chelsea Manning and illustrates a multitude of ways in which DNA can be interpreted.
Dewey-Hagborg's work has been internationally at events and venues including the World Economic Forum, Shenzhen Urbanism and Architecture Biennale, the New Museum, as well as PS1 MOMA and has been acquired into collections of the Centre Pompidou, The Van Abbemuseum, and New York Historical Society. Her work has been widely discussed in the media, from the New York Times and the BBC to TED and Wired. Dewey-Hagborg received a PhD in Electronic Arts from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and held the position of an Assistant Processor of Art and Technology Studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.