Website Redux

December 11, 2009

Here’s the final look of my website, this is the portfolio index. The site still needs lots of tweaking and my portfolio needs to be fleshed out, but it’s a start and I’m rather proud of it. Learning to write html and css (and a bit of java script, which still isn’t functioning properly) was a feat!

The inspiration came from The Yellow Wallpaper, a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. A long time ago, the story was the subject of a thesis paper I wrote during my final undergraduate year. The Yellow Wallpaper is practically autobiographical and the expression of real angst about medical practices in Victorian America, particularly treatment of women’s mental health (ie. postpartum depression) in which any kind of creative expression was completely repressed. Gilman was a voice of women’s lib before there was women’s lib — her contemporaries were busy writing texts on domestic economy and how to keep a good house. In short, she tears down a certain wall, covered in an extremely maddening pattern of hideous wallpaper.

I won’t give it away, but it’s a story well worth reading (only a mere 17 pages!)  and I feel that its another compelling example of how medicine and, in this case, historical medical practices inspire the arts.

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Brain on the chop block

December 4, 2009

30 HRS OF LIVE VIDEO: FROZEN BRAIN BEING SLICED

How exciting?! And one day only: Today! Friday. December 4th.

Visit the link below but be patient because it loads slowly due to the streaming video.  By the way, H.M. (Henry Molaison) is probably the most famous and studied amnesic patient and a constant wonder to neurologists the world over prior to his death and after! Here is the description of Project H.M.

“We are slicing the brain of the amnesic patient H.M. into giant histological sections. The whole brain specimen has been successfully frozen to -40C and will be sectioned during one continuous session that we expect will last approximately 30 hours (+ some breaks and some sleep in between). The procedure was designed for the safe collection of all tissue slices of the brain and for the acquisition of blockface images throughout the entire block.

“The procedure will mark the completion of Phase 1 of the project which will include ex vivo MR-imaging, blockface imaging, tissue slicing and cryogenic storage of all histological sections.

“We will be streaming the video live through 12.04.09″

http://thebrainobservatory.ucsd.edu/

End of Year Blu

November 25, 2009

For anyone who witnessed my sheer stress last week–or felt it themselves–here’s an animation by Blu that’s nothin’ but good. Take a break from your books and relax your brain…

Muto by Blu is a totally tricked-out graffiti-animation (what’s better than that?), which I’ve returned to again and again over the last couple years. The whole process has me in awe; my dabble in traditional animation was enough to elevate my appreciation of Blu’s work through the roof.

Respect.

If you know the amount of work that goes into just 10 seconds of animation, imagine over seven minutes and using buildings for canvas! The sound is terrific and the animation makes me weak. For those like me studying head and neck for the final anatomy exam…enjoy, there are several references to cervical and cranial structures, as well as general anatomy.

BUT WAIT….Blu’s drawings and murals are awesome and his website is really well designed too (I have a personal affinity for the sketchbook) so be sure to check it out: www.blublu.org

 

Dismember me?

November 20, 2009

ejb0809

Artist Jared Buckhiester created this piece called Severed Hand of Nureyev, it’s made of porcelain and the size of an actual hand. How gorgeous!

While the dismembered hand is one of few sculptural pieces, I really dig Buckhiester’s drawings. His illustrative style exploits the eeriness of realism and it reminds me a little of the rockin’ Francis Bacon retrospective I saw this past summer at the Met.

You can find Buckhiester’s drawings on his website: www.jaredbuckhiester.com. If you like illustration they are worth a look!

 

Poop Factory

November 12, 2009

As promised to my classmates and inspired by Lauren‘s project on the digestive cycle, here’s Cloaca No. 5, the poop machine created by Belgian artist Wim Delvoye.

Cloaca No. 5 is a mini factory that reproduces the human digestive process. It has been exhibited in galleries and museums across the globe and invites visitors and patrons to feed it left over cafeteria food, gourmet treats from local restaurants, street snacks, and more. The result is a nice little package of poo sealed in the Cloaca label and available for purchase. This exhibition has been wildly popular and it goes to show that we are all scatological at heart!

Besides being a devout fecal engineer, Delvoye is an awesome conceptual artist, illustrator and graphic designer. Check out his sketches for Cloaca No. 5 below or visit the project site for more. And definitely visit Wim City, Delvoye’s home page; it has tons of fun roll-over effect and reminds me of the Lego towns I use to build in my basement…if only they had had a friendly neighborhood poop factory!

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Wear your bacteria on your sleeve

November 9, 2009

Here’s a shout out to my fiber art roots. Plus a little dirty science.

Austrian designer Sonja Bäumel has created a design application called “(In)visible Membranes.” She imagines how the body–via its bacteria–can grow its own fibers appropriate to the environmental stimuli which is recognized and modified by the body ‘s temperature.

Bäumel is currently featured on the Ecouterre website. Also check out her own website (click on her name above); I really dig the clean white lab coat aesthetic–sterile minimalism at its best.

Rock it, sister.

crochet-membrane-detail

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bacteria-clothing-1

Pelvic Bone Damask

October 13, 2009

A very clever artist and great friend has commissioned me to create a wallpaper after seeing the croquis I developed of for a Pelvic Bone Damask pattern. I’m flattered because she paints scientific data like a dream and her ideas are really far out (she’s currently working on a meat man)!

I’m not sure yet how I’m going to set about printing the repeat; digital seems the easy but pricey way to go, screen-printing would be quality but I don’t have access to facilities, and any good ol’ analogue method always gets me excited: what’s better than a stack of photocopies + wheat paste + a nice coat of polyurethane?! Anyone else with good wallpaper-ing advice to pass out?

Here’s a sneak peak, a work in progress…

pelvic_detail

Studio Past

October 2, 2009

This week’s trial is to set up a web page introducing myself by writing pure html code; granted this is a brand new adventure for me, but it feels like a totally counter-intuitive medium for such a task! So I’ve decided to parallel this assignment with some images that might provide insight into the kind art-making I did in my Studio Past. Here are just a few pieces which I created long before I considered going into medical illustration but I think they demonstrate where my mind was (and in many ways still is) as I forge ahead into my Studio Present!

skin close up

skin wallpaper

bloodcell_detail

cell-wallpaper

The wallpaper projects in the above images were completed as part of my thesis project for my BFA curriculum where my concentration was Intaglio printmaking. The “Skin” tiles were made using an open-bite technique which provides a deeper, fuzzier edge than a straight forward etching and also creates an embossed effect on the paper. The “Blood cell” wallpaper (2’x3′ tiles) was made from an aqua-tint etching using a spit-bite technique, in which I used a brush to paint the acid directly on the plate like highly volatile watercolor. The plates and the printing were both extremely laborious to create and I intended the process and the tone of the piece to reflect the neurotic (and oddly comforting) qualities of repetition and production. The Yellow Wallpaper a short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman was a sublime influence in the making of this project!

birdsview_installation

birdsview_wallpaper

During my first year as an MFA student in the department of Fiber and Material Studies, I shook up my wallpaper obsession by creating digital papers along with soft sculpture for site-specific installations. The installation shown above involves a digital repeat of a bird taxonomy display found in the Natural History Museum in Vienna (in my opinion, one of the best in the world) with clumsy trees made of fabric, fur and newspaper. The installation overlooks Millenium Park from the 17th floor studio spaces at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the view just to the right includes some of Chicago’s major skyscrapers. The park was newly and carefully constructed (a lot of small trees were in cages!) and like the natural history museums found in metropolitan cities it made me ponder the existence of nature in an urban environment; where the artifice of nature is also its realization and where real nature often seems artificial.

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The White installations show the progression of my studio practice at SAIC. Still running with themes of nature and representation, I wanted to eliminate color and specific media or influence. I ended up going to town with many rolls of paper and a box full of exacto blades. Like the wallpaper I made during my undergraduate studies, labor and process again seemed to take over and my own studio seemed to become my refuge. My studio is where I could make the “nature” that made sense to me; like a gothic fairytale I wanted to create layers and layers of blank forest where only light and shadow and could influence the tone and provide a canvas on which might be projected any sense of fear, hope, aggression, peace, frustration, or fantasy.

Who knew? Ants love bones too!

September 26, 2009

Ants Eat Gecko

Poor gecko…but I love those tiny tiny little bones! Reptillian anatomy is pretty entertaining when ants are the dissectors.

This awesome time-lapse video came to me from a friend who I can always rely on for delicious media morsels and documented curiosities! Thanks Meejin!

I met a man from Sural Nerve

September 25, 2009

A good night of sleep with good dreams for once deserves a new blog entry! After a week of relentless anatomy inducing anxiety, balancing real work and school work, discovering and terminating one large cockroach I finally slept well. Not without dreams however, but at least they were pleasant and with only one reference to anatomy: I met, and consequently fell for, a man from Sural Nerve. Sural Nerve is apparently a country in the posterior part of the Cruris Region. The topography of Sural Nerve is pretty superficial, but can boast about having some Olympic caliber runners and jumpers under its lead.