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Visible Human Project and murder

September 19, 2011

There is a real momentum and fluidity exhibited in this curious plan-view of the body. As it runs through the animation one begins to visualise the rounded pockets and spherical shapes, the organs, the longitude and latitude of the muscles as it runs down an arm or leg and the surprising diagonal routes the bones take across the limbs. As a human I generally see the ‘bau-plan’ (body-plan) as upright which is maybe why this seems so odd an angle to observe (usually science simplifies and makes observation of complex data easier! Not here, until it gets processed into 3d anatomical illustration programs at least).

What you are seeing in the video is the Visible Human Project data-set containing 1800 cross-section images of a male body [See the my post after this one of it being used for art purposes]. This is the body of an executed murderer, that was embedded in gelatin, frozen, sliced crosswise into more than 1800 slices, then digitally photographed in order to make these images. The sections were at one millimeter intervals (video above), the female at one-third of a millimeter intervals (not shown). Creating a enchanting meeting of science and good ol’ fashioned morbid curiosity. The still shots of the video are reminiscent of Christian Wilhelm Braune (1831 – 1892) the German anatomist and professor of topographical anatomy (see illustrations below). Make of it what you will..

Also, make of the ‘moral’ message as one of its headlines, stating this is a sliced up body of a murderer! As if this is a further punishment after death? Is this a disrespectful act? An other implication is that this is a statement of a religion nature (i.e. the respect of the soul within the body)-  would that then imply they are taking the role of judgement and punishment? (The human race has not got a great history of making this type of act into positive outcomes, to say the least). Then again there were the days of the Bodysnatchers, which I think we all miss just a little.

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 30, 2013 11:55 am

    Nice post. I learn something totally new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon everyday.

    It’s always helpful to read content from other writers and practice a
    little something from their sites.

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