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Heather Dewey-Hagborg is an information artist who is interested in exploring art as research and public inquiry. Traversing media ranging from algorithms to DNA, her work seeks to question fundamental assumptions underpinning perceptions of human nature, technology and the environment. Examining culture through the lens of information, Heather creates situations and objects embodying concepts, probes for reflection and discussion.

Much more info available on her website.

Follow me on Twitter.

29 Comments leave one →
  1. September 8, 2010 8:29 am

    Hi, I like your work.

    I run a large hacker / art space in central bangalore, India.
    We bring together artists and engineers and encourage installations
    and development that uses new technologies in fun arty ways to get
    people thinking about different aspects of how tech affects our lives
    and where it is going. We are looking to fill a residency which will
    begin the process of giving Jaaga (our big wild building) a voice.

    If you or anyone you know might be interested in spending a few months
    in India hacking on this kinda stuff, or if you’d be willing to mentor a
    fellow if I found someone here, let me know ….

    thanks, and great work !!

    Freeman Murray

  2. Dave permalink
    October 26, 2012 12:12 am

    Looking at your work with microcontrollers, ‘Different Bits’…

    Nice, are you going to add?

    • October 26, 2012 10:35 am

      Most of my electronics work now is with my collective Future Archaeology
      I will be doing a new radio series this January on Art on Air radio at Clocktower Gallery, so stay tuned for that!

      • Dave permalink
        November 16, 2012 1:59 am

        O.K. Then…

        I never knew watching static on the TV could be an interactive art form…

        Quite interesting, definitly an experiential thing.

        I’ve always been partial to false color atributes of waveforms, but the feedback loops on a game system; maybe a new language archetype.

        Then again you got some randome crystal forms, like looking at some sort of warped Fresnel lens.

        Are you most interested in the audio-visual?

      • November 18, 2012 11:52 am

        I think I am actually most interested in the conceptual and the experiential…

  3. Dave permalink
    November 19, 2012 1:25 am

    Experiential may be a bit easier, all we have to do is wire in the transducer and record…

    Conceptual, we are looking at all of the senses…I’ve been looking at inheritable stuff, nature…

    I have found that the closer to common language the least likely the chance of the uncanny valley…

    I liked that you had your own face made for your art, I tend twards the univesal face for mine.

    • Dave permalink
      November 21, 2012 1:09 am

      Sorry, Should have been Universal, not ‘univesal’, (Damn Keyboard),

      Are you doing any art on the left coast?

      • November 26, 2012 8:15 pm

        I did for a couple years back in 2003-5 and I really miss it… would love to come out for a residency or exhibit!

  4. Dave permalink
    December 5, 2012 10:24 pm

    Do you have a link to the project from 2003 – 2005?

    For such a tech area as the Pacific NW we have very little art with any real effort to represent the ‘artistic’ aspect of tech…

    Maybe all the artist get hired by the firms and it all is copyrighted and intelectualpropertized… (fun word to say)… ?

    I would love to offer you a residency or an exibit, but sadly I can not do so (I’m a fan, not a patron)

    The last art here was of the apish sort, fun if you like that sort of thing (I liked the ball and chain on the working man), but not like what you are doing.

    Have you ever seen he remake of ‘The Time Machine’?

    • December 11, 2012 6:12 pm

      I haven’t!

      • Dave permalink
        December 20, 2012 1:27 am

        Sadly the ‘sci’ aspect may be the only deliverable…

        What you did with your ‘faces’ reminded me of an idea, (and also that art can take place in popular media), In the remake of the ‘time machine’ was introduced a long lived AI able to relate an understanding of ‘past’ in relation to future as a method of technology..

        If we do not see ourselves in art, we do see in technology, otherwise we act on instinct.

  5. Dave permalink
    December 11, 2012 12:46 am

    Specifically the interpreter.

  6. Larry Ofori permalink
    July 23, 2013 7:55 pm

    From the DNA, or a sufficient amount of DNA can the whole body be mapped out? baring in mind of different body sizes and body shapes?

    • July 24, 2013 10:24 am

      Hi Larry, A lot of people ask me this. While I haven’t researched this specifically I would assume that this is possible to a limited extent. Bone structure for example is probably the most genetically based. Of course diet, exercise and other environmental factors contribute enormously to what we see as body shape.

      • Larry Ofori permalink
        July 24, 2013 11:35 pm

        Oh ok I understand, I am just extremely fascinated. With more research, can the models look even more realistic than they already are?

  7. Larry Ofori permalink
    July 24, 2013 11:50 pm

    And also, as you said environmental factors such as diets exercise will that have to be something you manipulate yourself or can this be shown just through the sample of DNA?

  8. Manuela Granziol permalink
    March 25, 2014 6:14 am

    I am writing a PhD on the representation of the fragmented body and I would like to include some of your work. Any interest? Would you have a bit of time for an interview? ( Skype)

  9. April 20, 2014 5:35 pm

    i’m Malek HEMMAK and i’m a collage student, I need something you have done for CMU sphinx, they marked that you made a cool presentation about Sphinx. i need it 🙂

  10. June 12, 2014 4:09 pm

    hello mam.
    I work as an undergraduate student in Dhirubhai ambani institute of information and communication technology, India. I have been following your work from past few months.
    Stranger vision has attracted me a lot. I have been doing research on this related topic.
    I am very much interested to work under your guidance. Is there any i can lend my efforts to the project? If not possible i may require your guidance for my research.
    I hope for the best. Any way i can contact to you?

    Thank you,
    Aviral Varshney
    ID :

  11. January 12, 2015 11:22 pm

    Heather, I am writing to you with a question. Could your art bring relief to survivors and family members? Specifically I am addressing something very old, the Zodiac Killer, who was never caught. Most of his/her killings were in an age when DNA was not used. However, there IS DNA evidence on the envelopes. If you would contact the police and offer your services, your art, you would finally reveal WHO licked those envelopes sent to the media and police AND… you would become intensely famous. As an artist myself, I challenge you to do this and bring this cold case to an end.

    • January 13, 2015 1:30 pm

      Interesting Ken, do you have contacts involved with the case?

      • Dave permalink
        January 15, 2015 9:52 pm

        Heather & Ken,

        I’m not sure where the physical evidence is kept, maybe the San Francisco PD? I think they are the main investigative branch.

        The FBI has some records:

        Heather, there is a “person of interest” in relation to this case, so if you could independently provide a physical resemblance scenario it may be of help.

        I have no personal contact with this case, what I have learned and my interest comes from playing around with trying to solve the 340 cryptogram.

  12. Nikki permalink
    January 19, 2015 7:22 pm

    Hi! My name is Nikki, and I am a junior in high school. I am part of a club called TSA and I am doing a project that deals with your field of work. I was hoping you would be able to give me some insight as to what program you use to develop the 3D models of the faces from the DNA.

    • Nikki permalink
      January 19, 2015 7:23 pm

      Additionally, I would be very interested in using a quote from you about biotechnology and DNA or facial reconstruction using DNA for one of my essays for the project.

    • January 19, 2015 8:04 pm

      Nikki I wrote my own program but you could use the free demo of facegen software to experiment for yourself. I also uploaded some free code that geerates a text based profile of a person from a 23andme SNP file here:
      This should give you the general idea! More to come soon from my new community site

      • Nikki permalink
        January 19, 2015 8:38 pm

        Thank you so much for getting back to me! I find your work extremely interesting

  13. April 26, 2015 8:35 pm

    Heather, I was hoping to contact you with a somewhat personal request/commission after hearing an interview you did on Skepticality about your “Stranger Visions” artwork.

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