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Nina Sellars

Fat Addendum

Fat Addendum
How does a new organ enter into anatomy’s historical archives: is it as simple as making an addendum? If we begin with the axiom that before an organ can be ‘re-presented’ in the visual history of anatomy it first needs to ‘present’ experientially to an observer, what can we infer about this observer and their processes? Did they attend to the body differently? We may need to ask similar questions of their peers, as an organ is authenticated by consensus. This paper engages these questions by giving thoughtful attention to the example of adipose tissue (aka fat) and its contemporary reclassification as an organ. In addition, these matters are explored through a discussion of an arts project, Fat Addendum, which is designed as an inclusion to the 1555 edition of De humani corporis fabrica libri septem, the set of seven books on human anatomy, by Andreas Vesalius.  
Both the project and paper consider how ways of seeing the anatomical body are formed from a contingent coalescing of practices, materials, and ideas, and are performed, i.e., sustained, as enactments of visual knowledge. Importantly, these acts are viewed here also as iterations that are open to change, offering us the possibility of seeing, and doing, otherwise. 

The Private Lives of AIs

Today's AIs are larger than life. They have shown creativity in cracking complex board games like chess and Go and defeating Grand Masters. They write decent prose and are getting better at it, produce wacky and sometimes amazing art and, more seriously, enable astounding advances in medical research. So is there more to them than numbers and probabilities - something that is heading towards even greater creativity, maybe even consciousness? After all, we humans are made up of inert atoms and molecules, yet we have these qualities. I will explore all of this and take a good hard look at the private lives of today's astounding Generative AIs.
 

Arthur I. Miller

Mara G. Haseltine :

The Age of the Anthroprocene: Exploring the Link between our Biological and Cultural Evolution

We are at a unique time in the history of our planet when for perhaps the first time a sentient being is aware of the possibility that they are responsible for a mass extinction event, in fact this will be the planets 6th mass extinction event. I believe it is the job to an artist to reflect their times and this epic story of the life and death of the biosphere as we know it is something that has come to consume all of my work. In this talk I will investigate  the link between our cultural and biological evolution and the role of art as a tool to create the necessary the cultural shift towards a shared bio-ethic in which humans create symbiotic relationship  to the environment and our shared biosphere based in the holistic concept of " Geotherapy ".

 

Martin Kemp

Leonardo and bio-mechanics. Anatomical experiments 

Leonardo da Vinci’s extensive drawings and notes devoted to anatomy do not arise in a medical context. He does not engage with surgery or “physic.” Rather, he was dedicated to the exposition of god’s supreme design. in which nothing was missing and nothing was redundant.  His great set of drawings of the bones and muscles completed around 1510 expounds the form and functions of the bones and muscles in meticulous mechanical detail, probably in collaboration with the young Paduan doctor, Marcantonio della Torre. Leonardo undertakes new kinds of diagrammatic analyses of  the mechanical systems of the body. His greatest realisation of mechanical mathematics in anatomy comes when he looks at the valves of the heart; in studying the heart he also conceived a casting technique that he had first adopted to determine the form of the ventricles in the brain, radically revising their  traditional arrangement. In a range of portrayals from diagrammatic to pictorial and from static to dynamic, Leonardo’s anatomical research is unrivalled in revealing the mechanics of the human

body.

Ruth Richardson and Brian Hurwitz

Celebrating New Year in Bart’s Dissecting Room

A story which appeared in a pamphlet printed in London in the 1890s sold for one shilling. It is New Year’s Eve in a London medical school, and a social gathering is in full swing. The corpses have come back to life and are chatting, singing and speechifying, when a medical student stumbles into their midst. He is recognised and welcomed at first with reserve, until he proves able to enter the spirit of the occasion. The narrative anticipates the relational values with which dissection came to be endowed in the late twentieth century. Its surreal and post-humanist aspects will be discussed in terms of the affective and moral agency attributed to the once animate. No longer are cadavers to be considered the ‘silent teachers’ of human anatomy, who belong to the insensitive, asocial realm of the dead; they are, instead, vital co-producers and moral guardians of anatomical knowledge, who place demands on those that dissect them.

Alexander Lukas Bieri 

A choleric with a steady hand: Raoul Zingg's legacy in medical illustration

A glimpse into the work of one of the most gifted but also difficult characters in 20th Century medical illustration

 

Auriole Prince
Every Face Tells a Story: Exploring Identity and Bias in AI

Auriole runs Future Face AI a face changing technology company that creates hyper personalised experiences of how one can look in the future with lifestyle factors. Recent advances in AI technology are bringing new opportunities for everyone, but can also amplify bias in society.

Andrew Carnie:

From 2017 to 2020, I followed the work of the research team CANDO, Controlling Abnormal Network Dynamics using Optogenetics, at Newcastle University. The science group's investigation involved the use of gene therapy and brain implantation to control focal epilepsy. This approach can be applied to a range of further neurological disorders and the methodologies change human anatomy - architecture beyond what we currently know.  I intended to make artwork to illuminate the science and its implications.

Then between 2020 and today, I have been inspired to try and make work about circadian rhythms, the patterns of day and night, their effect on sleep, the microbiome and the immune system; and a prevailing crisis in well-being, anxiety and sleeplessness, infecting city-based societies.

Questions arise about how our bodies cope with changes in work settings, unnatural spaces, outer space, the home, dislocation and alterations to the body's architecture. How do we cope and how are our bodies reacting? Can we make art on these topics? As artists, should we be working in this realm at all? The art space is the place where we can continue without restraint to dream of the future. But is this an ‘edge’ too far? How did this all play out in the works made for the final exhibitions, Illuminating the Self, shown in Newcastle in 2020, at the Hatton and Vane galleries simultaneously and later in the show Being Human: Seeing Ourselves in 2023, at the West Down Gallery.

Mark Roughley 

"Should humans from the past exist as digital humans in the future?

Current 3D and 4D technologies are enabling the production of computer-generated characters for games and movies, which are overcoming the uncanny valley effect to create realistic digital humans that can move and speak with you. Digital toolkits from these industries are being adopted by facial reconstruction specialists in order to depict historic people from their skeletal remains, and for the public to interact with a person from the past. Opportunities exist for these digital humans to ‘live’ in current times and potentially forever; or as long as their computer files exist, but this poses a number of ethical questions. In this presentation, we will look to debate whether humans from the past should exist as digital humans in the future?
 

 

Andrew Burd

The Sexual Anatomy of Intimacy

The skin is my organ. It is the largest organ in the body and subserves multiple functions. Some of these functions are to keep us apart: the barrier functions purposed to maintain our unique identity. But whilst we want to be unique we also want to be desired. The psychosexual functions of the skin drive a global multibillion dollar industry. In this fundamentally depressing presentation I look at the dishonesty of the medical professionals and the delusions of the public that combine to create a world where sex is losing context. 

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