The Invisible was made Visible
The scientific merit of images produced by a PET scan or X-ray often overshadows the sentiments they incite as pictures of contemporary art in their own right. The 2012 ‘Making the invisible visible’ competition put on by Science magazine saw the wielding of visual media with such expertise, to produce images significantly superior to many computerized imagery of today, so much so, that in the absence of technological hindsight they could easily be thought to have emerged from Kubrick’s Space Oddity.
The image of the brain created using magnetic resonance is testament to the combined efforts of biologists, computer scientists and physicists alike. The somewhat eerie translucent display with its labyrinth network of blue, red and purple nerves is akin to Picassos’ spiralling light drawing for life Magazine in 1949. Maxim Chamberland, David Fortin and Maxime Descoteaux depict the tenuous nature of a cerebral infiltration, for if removed, the crimson cancerous mass on the right hemisphere threatens the integrity of the fibrous network of nerves in which it is entangled.
Likewise, the seed x-rays invoke as much bewilderment and excitement as a mammalian ultrasound image, for here the intricacy of what is effectively a plant foetus can be seen in all its convoluted wonder. These X-ray microradiographed pictures combine high-resolution, high-contrast x-ray radiography with images taken by microscopy, the results not only serve their purpose of showcasing the inner mechanics of a seed (and a brain), but also provide as much aesthetic draw as some of the best photographic images of our time.
These images along with those from other competition winners can be found on the guardian website: http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/gallery/2013/jan/31/science-engineering-visualisation-challenge-winners-pictures#/?picture=403319986&index=0
- Adrian Deen