2006-07-03

Blood flow and art



Quinn's blood head (above image from artnet.com) is part of a collection of Lego recreations of major moments in contemporary fine art history by The Little Artists. It features Marc Quinn's sculpture Self, famous as the "blood head." Made with 4.5 litres of the artist's own blood, collected over time, it is frozen in a negative mold of his own head, and displayed in a refrigerated display case. Intense and unique conceptual art, it involves science indirectly and directly. It reminds us that our brain is mostly water, and prompts thoughts of cryogenics, and giving blood, while remaining an intimate self-portrait.

That's one instance of science and art merged, and it's a diverse area with room for innovation. Dynamic neurophysiologist/broadcaster/sci-artist Mark Lythgoe writes about ingenuity in the article Science plus Art: more than the sum of their parts?

Working with artists and scientists for the last 10 years (Lythgoe 2002, 2002a, 2000b) has demonstrated to me that great art constitutes an open investigation into the human condition: into experience, memory and love - subjects that are also common to scientific study. And that scientists and artists can collaborate with different aims and objectives, while pursuing similar kinds of questions.


Among other projects, Lythgoe created Mapping Perception in film and multimedia including 3D fMRI animations, and collaborated on 2D digital art in Chimera (slideshow online).




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