The video “DNA Portrait,” above, is a lovely short documentary shot by TED’s own Kari Mulholland. It features the work of the artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg, who spent time collecting hairs shed in public spaces… and then sequencing the DNA therein to print 3D sculptures of what those hairs’ owners might look like. Whoa. The film is also the secret story of the lab run by TEDGlobal 2012 speaker Ellen Jorgensen. At Genspace, people can experiment with DNA-based technology, regardless of their scientific knowledge or experience. As Jorgensen comments in the film, Dewey-Hagborg’s work is super interesting, not to mention searingly contemporary. “It’s a very accessible way for the public to engage with this new technology. It really brings to light how powerful it is, the idea that a hair from your head can fall on your street and a perfect stranger can pick it up and know something about it,” she says, adding: “With DNA sequencing becoming faster and cheaper, this is the world we’re all going to be living in.”
New talks released daily. Be the first to know!
When TED Fellow Gabriel Barcia-Colombo saw an extraction of strawberry DNA for the first time, he was smitten. “I’d never thought about DNA being a beautiful thing before I saw it in this form,” he says in today’s talk, given at the TED Fellows Retreat. Barcia-Colombo was inspired to join the public biotech lab Genspace, […]
Art so often seeks to capture the beauty of the natural world — from cave drawings of animals, to paintings of landscapes, to sculptures of the human form in marble, bronze or wood. But in this playlist, find artists and designers who take this to the next level, making art based on the laws of […]