Giving Bodies Back to Data

Giving Bodies Back to Data Image-Makers, Bricolage, and Reinvention in Magnetic Resonance Technology - Leonardo

Hardback (30 Jul 2021)

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Publisher's Synopsis

Our bodies are scanned, probed, imaged, sampled, and transformed into data by clinicians and technologists. In this book, Silvia Casini reveals the affective relations and materiality that turn data into image--and in so doing, gives bodies back to data. Opening the black box of MRI technology, Casini examines the bodily, situated aspects of visualisation practices around the development of this technology. Reframing existing narratives of biomedical innovation, she emphasises the important but often overlooked roles played by aesthetics, affectivity, and craft practice in medical visualisation. Combining history, theory, laboratory ethnography, archival research, and collaborative art-science, Casini retrieves the multiple presences and agencies of bodies in data visualisation, mapping the traces of scientists' body work and embodied imagination. She presents an in-depth ethnographic study of MRI development at the University of Aberdeen's biomedical physics laboratory, from the construction of the first whole-body scanner for clinical purposes through the evolution of the FFC-MRI. Going beyond her original focus on MRI, she analyses a selection of neuroscience- or biomedicine-inspired interventions by artists in media ranging from sculpture to virtual reality. Finally, she presents a methodology for designing and carrying out small-scale art-science projects, describing a collaboration that she herself arranged, highlighting the relational and aesthetic-laden character of data that are the product of craftsmanship and affective labour at the laboratory bench.

Book information

ISBN: 9780262045292
Publisher: The MIT Press
Imprint: The MIT Press
Pub date:
DEWEY: 616.07548
DEWEY edition: 23
Number of pages: xxvii, 284
Weight: 856g
Height: 189mm
Width: 261mm
Spine width: 29mm