x-rays

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Art Photography Science

An Intricate Cross-Section of the Brain Depicted With Thousands of Layers of Gold Leaf

April 17, 2017

Kate Sierzputowski

Self Reflected, 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The entire Self Reflected microetching under violet and white light. (photo by Greg Dunn and Will Drinker)

Self Reflected, 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The entire Self Reflected microetching under violet and white light. (photo by Greg Dunn and Will Drinker)

Taking nearly two years to complete, artist and neuroscientist Dr. Greg Dunn, along with his collaborator Dr. Brian Edwards, have mapped the neurons in the brain for a series of images titled Self Reflected. Produced through a technique they call reflective microetching, the two cross-disciplinary artists track the neural choreography in the mind, creating brilliant images that glow with a metallic luminescence.

The works depict a thin slice of the human brain at 22x the normal scale, each created through a combination of hand drawing, neuroscientific data, algorithmic simulation of neural circuitry, photolithography, strategic lighting design, and 1,750 sheets of 22k gold leaf.

“My work is neonaturalist, art based on natural forms and influenced by scientific advancements that allows us to perceive the universe beyond human senses,” explains Dunn in his artist statement. “Neonaturalism harmonizes unfamiliar scientific imagery and techniques with an experimental artistic scaffolding.”

Self Reflected was funded the National Science Foundation, and its first iteration is on permanent view at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia, PA. Fine art prints and microetchings can be purchased on Dunn’s website. You can watch the work twinkle as it engages with a light source in the short video below. (via My Modern Met)

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The brainstem and cerebellum, regions that control basic body and motor functions. (photo by Greg Dunn and Will Drinker)

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The brainstem and cerebellum, regions that control basic body and motor functions. (photo by Greg Dunn and Will Drinker)

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The thalamus and basal ganglia, sorting senses, initiating movement, and making decisions. (photo by Greg Dunn and Will Drinker)

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The thalamus and basal ganglia, sorting senses, initiating movement, and making decisions. (photo by Greg Dunn and Will Drinker)

Self Reflected, 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The entire Self Reflected microetching under white light. (photo by Greg Dunn and Will Drinker)

Self Reflected, 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The entire Self Reflected microetching under white light. (photo by Greg Dunn and Will Drinker)

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The visual cortex, the region located at the back of the brain that processes visual information.

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The visual cortex, the region located at the back of the brain that processes visual information.

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. Raw colorized microetching data from the reticular formation.

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. Raw colorized microetching data from the reticular formation.

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The pons, a region involved in movement and implicated in consciousness. (photo by Greg Dunn and Will Drinker)

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The pons, a region involved in movement and implicated in consciousness. (photo by Greg Dunn and Will Drinker)

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The parietal gyrus where movement and vision are integrated. (photo by Greg Dunn and Will Drinker)

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The parietal gyrus where movement and vision are integrated. (photo by Greg Dunn and Will Drinker)

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The motor and parietal cortex, regions involved in movement and sensation, respectively. (photo by Greg Dunn and Will Drinker)

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The motor and parietal cortex, regions involved in movement and sensation, respectively. (photo by Greg Dunn and Will Drinker)

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The midbrain, an area that carries out diverse functions in reward, eye movement, hearing, attention, and movement. (photo by Greg Dunn and Will Drinker)

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The midbrain, an area that carries out diverse functions in reward, eye movement, hearing, attention, and movement. (photo by Greg Dunn and Will Drinker)

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The laminar structure of the cerebellum, a region involved in movement and proprioception (calculating where your body is in space).

Self Reflected (detail), 22K gilded microetching, 96″ X 130″, 2014-2016, Greg Dunn and Brian Edwards. The laminar structure of the cerebellum, a region involved in movement and proprioception (calculating where your body is in space).

 

 



Art

Playfully Embroidered X-Ray Film by Matthew Cox

February 3, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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“Daisy Bracelet” All images provided by Matthew Cox.

Adding a touch of softness to stark images of knees, skulls, and chests, Matthew Cox uses bright thread to embroider on X-ray film. His additions add a playful fiction to the cold reality of the transparent film, giving body parts the faces of Greek gods and limbs of anger-prone superheroes. Each stitch on the medical photograph acts as a line for Cox, a labored drawing produced from vibrant thread.

The Philadelphia-based artist enjoys the contrast of his two chosen materials, redefining each of their roles through their unique combination. “By joining the cold, blue, medically-technical plastic of the X-ray with the colorful, decorative and tactile embroidery thread, each is removed from its original intention and creates a new entity,” said Cox. “Handling these media also gives me an opportunity to comment on the ever-increasing presence of photography in contemporary art by introducing labor over the quick, slickness of film.”

Cox’s will show a selection of his embroidered works this summer at Sweden’s Fiberspace. You can see more of his works on his Instagram here. (via Booooooom)

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“Lotus With Butterfly Necklace”

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“Wading Knees”

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“Avatar #7, Zeus/Hulk”

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“Medusa Profile”

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“Avatar #2, Minotaur”

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“Knee and Daisies”

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“Waterproof Watches”

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“Lashes and Earrings”

 

 



Art History Photography

X-Ray Photographs From the 1930s Expose the Delicate Details of Roses and Lilies

February 2, 2016

Kate Sierzputowski

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“Lotus,” ca. 1930, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 1/4 x 9 1/4 inches. All imagery courtesy Joseph Bellows Gallery.

When selecting flowers we are often first attracted to their vibrant colors, eager to choose a bright orange lily or deep red rose. Dr. Dain L. Tasker, an early 20th century radiologist, was attracted to a different feature of the blooms—their anatomy. Using X-ray film to highlight the soft layering of petals and leaves, Tasker produced ghostly images devoid of color, each image appearing more like an ink drawing than photograph.

Born in 1872 in Beloit, Wisconsin, Tasker was the chief radiologist at the Wilshire Hospital in Los Angeles when radiology was in its first stages of exploration. He first became interested in photography in the 20s, focusing his hobby on landscape and portraiture. It wasn’t until the the 30s that he began to connect his career and hobby, moving his photographic interests to the X-ray machine and singling out flowers from his previously photographed landscape environments.

By composing images with singular flowers Taker examined their individualistic qualities rather than focusing on how they might be found grouped in nature or a bouquet. These minimal compositions contain a romantic appreciation for his subject matter. “Flowers are the expression of the love life of plants,” he said in a statement.

A selection of Tasker’s X-ray images can be seen in the exhibition “Floral Studies” at Joseph Bellows Gallery in La Jolla, California which runs through February 19, 2016. (via Hyperallergic)

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“A Rose,” 1936, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 1/4 x 9 1/8 inches

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“Yellow Calla Lily,” 1938, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 3/8 x 9 1/4 inches

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“untitled, (lily),” 1932, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 1/4 x 9 inches

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“Philodendron,” 1938, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 3/8 x 9 inches

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“Peruvian Daffodil,” 1938, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 1/2 x 9 1/4 inches

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“Fuchsia,” 1938, vintage gelatin silver print, 9 1/2 x 7 1/4 inches

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“Delphinium,” 1938, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 1/4 x 9 1/8 inches

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“Tulip,” 1931, vintage gelatin silver print, 9 x 7 inches

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“California Holly,” 1937, vintage gelatin silver print, 11 3/8 x 9 1/8 inches

 

 



History Music

Bone Music: How Banned Western Music in the Soviet Union Was Printed on Repurposed X-Ray Records

December 30, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Photos via Jozsef Hajdu and Ksenia Vytuleva

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Photos via Jozsef Hajdu

If you asked me when the history of bootleg music began, I would have assumed it arrived with the invention of the cassette tape, something small, inexpensive and portable that was easily duplicated in any garage from deck A to deck B. In reality, widespread bootlegging dates back even further, to the 1950s in the Soviet Union where music lovers, desperate for banned Western tunes, devised an ingenious way to print their own records. The only problem was the scarcity of vinyl.

Desperate times called for desperate measures. With the aid of a special device, people started pressing banned jazz and rock n’ roll music on thick radiographs scavenged from the dumpsters of hospitals. X-rays were plentiful (not to mention cheap), and while the records could only be pressed on a single side, the music they produced using a standard turntable was passable. The recordings even had a catchy name: bone music. From an interview with author Anya von Bremzen via NPR:

“They would cut the X-ray into a crude circle with manicure scissors and use a cigarette to burn a hole. You’d have Elvis on the lungs, Duke Ellington on Aunt Masha’s brain scan—forbidden Western music captured on the interiors of Soviet citizens.”

By 1958 the authorities caught on and the act of making x-ray records was made illegal. It wasn’t long before the largest distribution networks of illicit bone music were discovered and shut down. You can see more scans of bone music over on this page created by Jozsef Hajdu, and FastCo has a great article about the entire phenomenon. (via Junk Culture, NPR, FastCo)

 

 



Design Photography

X-Rayed Toys by Brendan Fitzpatrick

July 14, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Photographer Brendan Fitzpatrick whose floral x-rays we first featured back in 2012, just released three new collections of x-ray photos including toys, creatures, and a new set of flowers, as part of his Invisible Light series. The photos are created with the help of a standard x-ray machine, but are artificially colored to help distinguish different materials. Prints of almost all of the images are available through Behance.

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Photography

Floral X-Rays by Brendan Fitzpatrick

February 27, 2012

Christopher Jobson

Photographer Brendan Fitzpatrick has been shooting photos for over 20 years, and for the last seven has been living and working in Singapore. These colorful floral x-rays were the result of several radiology experiments that ended with help from a radiography lab in Singapore who assisted him with use of a digital x-ray system followed by a few rounds of image editing and color correction in Photoshop to reach the final results you see here. Several of the specimens are available as prints over on Society6. For a polar opposite project, also check out his Anonymous Aliens series, which confronts the dehumanization of transient workers and their often unrecognized contribution to modern society by capturing anonymous stormtroopers enduring the back-breaking labor often performed by migrants.