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Brad Smith, Creative Work
Greenfield
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Totems and Transgenics
Totems and Transgenics portray a confluence of biology, culture, and technology through totem-like representations of human embryos based on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The human embryo has become a nexus for deliberating what it means to be an organism, human, a person, and a citizen. The embryo is variously considered in our culture as property, family member, medical cure, bearer of legal rights, experimental material, a potential, and an actualized individual. These images leverage the technology of MRI to inscribe views of human embryos that conflate the ideas of familial relationships, history, genetic manipulations, and human identity. The totem-like icons are based on MRI data that has been transformed to alter human embryo body patterns in a way that imitates the effects of Hox genes and other body pattern determining genes. The resulting images provide an unconventional view of human embryos – the subjects of intense social scrutiny. Even detached from its cultural connotation, the imagery is inherently compelling.
Animations
Embryo Imaging
Illustration