19/02/2016 08:57 GMT | Updated 19/02/2016 08:59 GMT

Artist Creates People's 'Faces' Using Nothing But DNA Found In Discarded Gum

Artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg has carried out an experiment to try and work out how much you can know about a person's looks just from their DNA.

Speaking to filmmakers Veena Rao and Emily Sheskin, the artist gathered DNA from chewing gum samples, cigarette butts and fingernails.

The three combined contain an enormous amount of genetic information allowing a person to make some assumptions about a person's physical appearance.

While it's extremely difficult to work out if the faces actually do bare any resemblance to the real people involved Dewey-Hagborg wanted to highlight the dangers now increasingly becoming associated with 'genetic surveillance'.


As technologies surrounding genetic identification increase the artist is concerned that not enough emphasis is being placed on the possible negative impacts it could have on societal policing.

Once collecting all the genetic data the she was then able to convert them into what she felt was as close to their actual appearance as possible. The finished image was then 3D-printed and turned into a physical mask.