Sunday, April 24, 2016

Week 4 MedTech + Art

Week 4 Medtech + Art

Leonardo da Vinci's anatomical drawings

After this week, I never realized how much art is surrounded in our culture and is used everyday in society through mathematics, technology, science and medicine. Professor Vesna helps explain how important the human body is for artists and how medical technology has changed starting since the first time humans were created. Leonardo da Vinci, first helped explained the human anatomy through his anatomical drawings which put him hundreds of years ahead of his peers. MRI scans show that Leonardo’s work is still relevant to scientists today (Furness 2013). In lecture we learned that the human body and medical advances have been a huge importance for artist. For example the new forms of an MRI and X-ray scanning are a perfect example of a medical technology that is also a field of art practice.

Angela Palmer takes MRI and CT scans and etches them onto a sheet of glass, over and over.

In the article, “Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as Mirror and Portrait: MRI Configurations between Science and the Arts”, Silvia states that MRI scanning looks the same as a portrait would but in more anatomical detail showing soft tissues and organs. The first artist to use MRI scanning in their artwork was Justine Cooper. She used multiple MRI images to create a sculpture of the body. However, MRI images weren’t created just through visual effects but the scanners used sound to become aware of the wholeness of the bodies and “show how it is possible to gain an experience of wholeness through sound, rather than through a portraying or mirroring image” (99).

RAPT II is an installation comprised of 76 of the MRI axial scans, printed on architectural film, suspended and aligned to create a 24 foot long floating body.


1. "Angela Palmer | Artist." Angela Palmer Artist RSS. Web. 25 Apr. 2016

2. Casini, Silvia. "Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as Mirror and Portrait: MRI Configurations between Science and the Arts." Configurations 19.1 (2011): 73-99. Web.

3. Furness, Hannah. "Leonardo Da Vinci Was Right All Along, New Medical Scans Show." The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, Web. 12 Mar. 2013.

4. Orlan – Carnal Art (2001) Documentary. Dir. St├ęphan Oriach. Perf. Orlan. Film. YouTube. 24 April. 2016.

5. Vesna, Victoria. “Medtech + Art.” Lecture 1, 2, 3. 2016