Hox Voxels from Psuedo Transgene series, 2005
17" x 23", Digital ultrachrome print from human embryo MRI data
Frzb 01, 2006
48" x 11.5", Digital ultrachrome print from human embryo MRI data.
Embryos, Totems, and MRI’s
Brad Smith’s digital imaging portrays a confluence of biology, culture, and technology through totem-like representations of human embryos based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The human embryo has become a nexus for deliberating what it means to be an organism, human, a person, and a citizen. The embryo is variously considered in our culture as property, family member, medical cure, bearer of legal rights, experimental material, a potential, and an actualized individual. Smith leverages the technology of MRI to inscribe views of human embryos that conflate the ideas of familial relationships, history, genetic manipulations, and human identity. He does this by producing totem-like icons based on MRI data that has been transformed to alter human embryo body patterns in a way that imitates the effects of Hox genes and other body pattern determining genes. The resulting images provide an unconventional view of human embryos – subjects of intense social scrutiny. Even detached from its cultural connotation, the imagery is inherently compelling.
science site: http://embryo.soad.umich.edu/
creative work: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~brdsmith/
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