I went along with Dolores Steinman, whom I met at Subtle Technologies a couple of weeks back in Toronto, to the Wellcome Trust to listen to visual artist, Nina Sellars, giving a perspective tour of Brains: The Mind as Matter.
Two slices of Albert Einstein's brain at the Wellcome Collection in London (photo: c-lab, 2012)
This exhibition looks at how we have explored our brains through various technological and cultural interventions asking: what we have done to brains, focusing on the bodily presence of the organ rather than investigating the neuroscience of the mind.
Video showing Setred's latest 3D display developed for the medical market - Clariti.
First stop was the MD20-3D screen showing 3D digital holographic image of brain integrating rendering from CT, MRI, MRA, CTA and 3D/4D ultrasound images, where digital extractions of the brain were made for the eye and a way of thinking about the anatomy as visual knowledge.
Left: Andreas Vesalius's De humani corporis fabrica publication exhibit of 1555 edition. (photo: c-lab, 2012) Right: Base Of The Brain in 1543 edition. (Image:public domain)
We were then taken to Andreas Vesalius’ exhibit of his anatomy treatise, De Humani Corporis Fabrica. This publication not only played a significant role in the development of basic anatomical sciences but it was the first depiction of visually opening up the body and mapping it in 3D space.
Drawing of Purkinje cells (A) and granule cells (B) from pigeon cerebellum by Santiago Ramón y Cajal, 1899; Instituto Santiago Ramón y Cajal, Madrid, Spain. (Image: public domain)
Next stop is the 'father of neuroscience' Santiago Ramón y Cajal's exhibit of his pioneering microscopic images and drawings of the brain structures highlighting for the first time images from the microscope become disconnected from their host bodies and the first virtual images.
Our final stop was Nina's exhibit, titled Scan. After having one of the first MRI scans in Australia that revealed a tumour, Nina was left blind for over a year as a result of its removal. Scan offers an interactive and playful narrative where audience can use their mobile phones to scan a QR barcode located on drawing of a skull where tumour, the interaction takes the audience to the actual MRI 'scan' of her brain.