[-empyre-] open imaging: Tina Gonsalves

tina gonsalves tina at tinagonsalves.com
Wed Sep 17 12:30:27 EST 2008

> I'd like to know more how as artists you get inspired more or less  
> by certain forms of imaging. How it informs you creativity in details.

In early work, about ten years ago, I was intrigued with the power of  
diagnostic images. These images produce hope in the seer, or the  
spectre of death. The potent act of reading these images was catalytic  
to an artistic investigation of ‘emotional’ semiotics of diagnostic  
imaging.  I was interested in the emotional repercussions for the  
patient allowed to witness their own body interior and pathological  
markings. I wanted to emulate the feeling of vulnerability, fear and  
hope that might result in the patient with such an insight into their  
insides, and disease or trauma. I experimented with various techniques  
that set out to emulate (and at times intensified) the feeling of  
vulnerability which might emerge from or be kept submerged within the  
patient:  I also explored differing ways this feeling could be  
transmitted to an audience I would reconstruct the image, to imbue  
them with the emotion I would imagine that the patient might be feeling.

Also, the thought of medical institutions fragmenting the body,  
obscuring or ignoring some bodily features in order to make others  
more apparent, lead me to contemplate some bizarre re-interpretations  
of the diagnostic image and the human figure. This also lead to an  
investigation of the paradigms of power within the medical profession,  
about how an image is read, who  who has the expertise, the power  
dynamics involved in this, who makes the choices of how it looks.

Over time, I attempted to engage with medical practitioners,  
discussing the work with them, and asking how the creative  
appropriation medical visualization techniques may throw unexpected  
light on their clinical uses. In the end, they were diagnostic images  
that were obscured in some way. Really, so what? Interestingly, some  
of those doctors became collaborators in the next stages of this  
investigation. I realized that I wanted to create the diagnostic  
devices themselves, diagnostic devices that analysed emotion,  
vulnerability and all that the diagnostic machines used in medical  
institutions  left out. This lead to psycho-physiologically responsive  
installations and the last ten years work.

tina gonsalves

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