Week 3 Response: Modern X-Rays

Throughout the week’s readings and lecture, what caught my attention the most was using new technology to produce new forms of art. The technology I’m specifically pointing out is X-ray. Artists like Man Ray took advantage of this technology that could use the biology of human beings and even objects themselves to create black and white images. This new medium is different from creating black and white art by drawing with a pencil or taking photographs in black and white. However, x-ray as a medium does have a negative result to an artist because x-ray is damaging to the biology of a living person since cellular tissues can only take so much until it deteriorates after repeated exposure to the radiation.xray_damage_4

Then, I realized over a century has passed since the invention of x-ray came to be. In the modern world, x-ray is not the only technology that can explore the biology of human beings. Now there are imaging techniques in the medical field such as CT, MRI, PET, and bone scan, which are all similar to x-rays because they map and show a visual image of what’s beneath the skin. These new forms of radiology can show images of organs, diseases, and bodily systems. However, the same question of risk does apply to these new technology. How safe is it to be used as a medium for artist to utilize? How many times can a person scan their own selves until it is deemed dangerous?

MRI-Service-Slide PET-CT-Scan-Service-SlideCT-Scan-Service-Slide

After researching the dangers of these biological scanners, the solution to mitigating these risk is to have the least amount of exposure from the dangerous radiations that the technology emits. The x-ray was the first ever machine that could visualize the body from without. The dangers of x-ray wasn’t known until repeated tests showed the deformation that it caused to radiologists. After the invention of CT, MRI, and PET scan machines, people are taking extra precautions since too much exposure  with anything that is radioactive can cause long term harm to the body. For example, scanning machines are enclosed in a room that have lead or other protective materials in the walls to prevent radiation from affecting the surrounding areas.

Now the risks surrounding these machines have been resolved, how does these forms of technologies relate to art? Like x-ray, there are artists that are eager to utilize these new forms of technology to create aesthetic artworks. One globally recognize artist is a physician named Satre Stuelke who uses a CT scanner to create colorful images of objects that he scans. The following link shows a lot of his artworks that have been shown at galleries and museum exhibitions throughout the world. Stuelke hasn’t used humans as subjects for his artwork since he focuses more on imaging toys, food, and electronics. The following images shows CT scans of an iPhone, Buzz Lightyear toy, and Big Mac.

iphone-med buzz-medbigmac-med

– Oneil Leif Parrilla


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