Silvia Casini writes about the experiential nature of undergoing an MRI, emphasizing the acoustics of the process as separate from the visual imagery of the internal body itself. As someone who underwent a CAT scan in a sedated state (and never got to see the subsequent images taken of my body) my experience with body imaging technology was entirely audio and tactile. From the technician talking to me to the odd, warm metallic sensation one feels after being injected with the dye, it was aesthetic in a wholly non-visual context.
|My CAT scan experience was not visual in any sense, but rather audio/tactile|
The intersection of medicine, art, and greater social contexts have produced an incredibly interesting body of work. Donald Ingber's work regarding cell structure engages architecture, medicine, human biology, and sculpture in order to work at fundamental questions about our internal microstructure that have medical implications. Eduardo Kac's piece, "Time Capsule," raised questions about data collection in regards to one's own memories and body that have only become more relevant in an age when everybody carries a smartphone capable of both identifying their location as well as storing large amounts of data regarding their own personal life.
|Donald Ingber's ability to physically model/sculpt possible cell architectures has transformed our understanding of cell structure.|
I am personally interested in the ways in which art and medical technology can work to improve quality of life. Diane Gromala's virtual reality work, in which she uses VR environments combined with other methods in order to combat chronic pain, is especially compelling. As somebody who identifies as nonbinary and am close friends with many other individuals in the transgender community, there are a number of medical procedures that engage with the performativity of gender expression and alter the appearances of individuals in ways that affect them positively. The concept of gender expression as performative rather than innate opens up a wide array of medical possibilities for creating certain gender affects in individuals. These procedures greatly improve the quality of life of these individuals, and in this way the merging of the medical and the aesthetic has profound implication for well-being.
|Medical technology has made it possible for transgender and non gender-conforming individuals to have surgery in order to improve their quality of life.|
Casini, Silvia. "Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) as Mirror and Portrait: MRI Configurations
between Science and the Arts." Configurations 19.1 (2011): 73-99. Web.
Gromala, Diane. "Curative Powers of Wet, Raw Beauty." TEDxAmericanRiviera. 2011. Web.
Ingber, Donald E. "The Architecture of Life." Scientific American. January 1998.
Kac, Eduardo. "Time Capsule." ekac.org. Web. 23 April 2016.
Vesna, Victoria. "Mathematics-pt1-ZeroPerspectiveGoldenMean.mov." UCLA. Online.