Lovesick in a Ubiquitous Genomic Future

October 16, 2018

By Mina Zarfsaz



We are excited to be working with Heather Dewey-Hagborg as our third artist in resident. Heather is currently in the research phase and is thoughtfully brainstorming with the Integral Molecular scientists on mapping how processes similar to the development of antibodies can relate to controlling human emotions. 


Lovesick plays poetically on the idea of romantic infatuation as a virus and the process of moving on as akin to building up antibodies. Acting as a kind of sequel to T3511, Lovesick examines desire and intimacy in a ubiquitous genomic future where biotechnology is inexpensive and accessible,” says Heather.


During the residency Heather will research and learn about the immune system, virus and vaccine production, speculate about how these technologies might help engineer a new, unique virus with human DNA and develop a strategy for exhibiting these experiments. 

Stranger Visions, Portraits and samples ,Installation at
Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Sept 6, 2014


Stranger Visions

Stranger Visions, 2012-13

Heather’s research-based practice taps into biological data to highlight political and cultural questions of our time and further speculate the future of such conditions. For her project Stranger Visions “she collected hairs, chewed up gum, and cigarette butts from the streets, public bathrooms and waiting rooms of New York City. She extracted DNA from them and analyzed it to computationally generate 3d printed life size full color portraits representing what those individuals might look like, based on genomic research. Working with the traces strangers unwittingly left behind, the project was meant to call attention to the developing technology of forensic DNA phenotyping, the potential for a culture of biological surveillance, and the impulse towards genetic determinism.” *


Another project of hers, “T3511​ is a post-genomic love story and experimental documentary.The narrative follows a biohacker who becomes increasingly obsessed with an anonymous donor whose saliva she purchases online.” *

T3511: Introduction (Single Channel)

T3511: Introduction (single channel, excerpt)

* Heather Dewey-Hagborg,


Headline Image: Stranger Visions

The BioArt Residency is supported by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.