The very things that we discard everyday and never think twice about-hair, skin, and saliva-can be clues about who we are. They can also be liabilities.
Traces focuses on the work of artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg, who created Stranger Visions, a series of masks based on DNA samples extracted from trash discarded in public places, and Invisible, a spray that erases and obfuscates DNA. Through her art, she raises questions around DNA privacy that parallel the very questions we are asking about who has access to our personal data.
These questions are not theoretical. Recently Black Lives Matter activist Deray was arrested during a protest and his DNA was sent to the FBI. Should this be acceptable? What regulations do we have around DNA collection?