Another strange combination of art with medicine, this time from doctor, Jon Tsoi “Master of Tao-Blindfolded-Inner Spirit Art-Medicine.” He explains his blindfolded mucking about with paint, canvas, and herbs as a means of balancing ourselves physically, mentally and spiritually. “My art is a remedy promoting a harmonious way of life. Furthermore, it is a prescription for a new wave of art…”
An un-sedated patient reads a poem dedicated to the scalpel-wielding Dr. Angel Escurdero while under the influence of “Volitive Psychoanalgesia. The video posted on YouTube is linked to the Spanish doctor’s site where he promotes his own artsy approach to medicine and something he calls “noesitherapy,” or “healing by thinking” (from the Greek word “noesis” for “thinking).
One of the most interesting aspects of Keraunomedicine (yes, there’s a name for the medical study of lightning-strike victims) is the formation of characteristic burns of “lightning flowers” as illustrated above. Lightning flowers, sometimes called Lichtenberg figures, “may persist for hours or days, and are a useful indicator for medical examiners when trying to determine the cause of death. They are thought to be caused by the rupture of small capillaries under the skin, either from the current or from the shock wave.”
Our Halloween weekend extravaganza at the Steve Allen Theater will feature a rare live appearance by the enitmatic band/art-collective known as Bouncehausen. Preferring to perform under pitch black conditions only intermittently interrupted by seizure-inducing blasts from a strobe, this reclusive group have rarely been photographed. However, our sources assure us that the pitiable creatures featured in the photographs above are among its key members.
On October 28, 29, and 30th, Bouncehausen’s performance will take place indoors on the theater stage, before, during, and probably long after the outdoor show takes place. Intrepid visitors are invited to wander in and experience Bouncehausen at any point during the evening. During the course of their 72-hour performance they are expected to sustain and relieve themselves through intubation.
A spokesperson for the group has released this statement:
Bouncehausen will sonically recreate the exact moment of impact of a terrifying automobile crash, slow it down 300 million times and stretch it into one seven hour epic “song” that will take three days to play. If you are able to witness even a small part of this historic event you will have a much greater understanding of what it sounds like to exist on a molecular level as steel and glass twist and explode.
(WARNING: Bouncehausen contains members of Woodpussy, WACO, Millisecond Evolution and Gingerbread Swastika. Please be advised)
Our last entry on book surgeries got us thinking about a more grisly nexus of books and anatomy, in particular: anthropodermic bibliopegy, or the use of human skin in bookbinding.
If you thought such things only existed in concentration camp mythology and The Evil Dead movies, think again. Genuine examples can be found in museums the world over. London’s Wellcome Library in London has one; Brown University in Providence, and Berkeley’s Bancroft Library each have one; Harvard has two, and The Mütter Museumboasts four examples including one sporting a tattoo.
Though reasons for the creation of such volumes were varied, the rationale is more or less apparent in many cases as with the skin from dissected cadavers used to bind anatomy books, or the skin of convicted murderers punitively employed in the binding of accounts of their trials. Less obvious, and more creepy — if one can really parse such things when it comes to books bound in human skin — would be the Bancroft Library’s example created during the French Revolution– a book of common prayer.
Nor is the practice a thing of the past, as made clear this month by the appearance of a story about a Russian writer Maksim Aleshin currently writing a book he plans to have bound in his own skin, a proposition serious enough to have already placed the book on the market. It’ll be $100,000, so start squirreling away funds now as you’re sure to have competition from other ghoulish collectors, including the small but dedicated followers of the anthropodermic bibliopegy interest group on FaceBook.
After a few moments of wild disorientation (unless you speak Japanese) you will have eventually realized the “woman” in the dental chair is a robot used for teaching dental students. Along with a few speech functions, and realistic oral musculature, her teeth are embedded with sensors or virtual nerves that trigger a yowl of pain if the student fumbles with the drill. That response earned her the pop media nickname “Pain Girl,” back in 2007 when she was introduced, but her inventors preferred the rather unpleasant-sounding coinage “simroid,” a contraction of “simulator” and “humanoid.”
And not that you asked, but this is what she’d look like if you skinned her.
Of course that was four years ago, and we suspect Pain Girl has finished with her dental treatment and moved on to a more lucrative career in adult entertainment. Meanwhile simulation robotics marches on, and the formerly shocking robotic mouth introduced in 2010, is now only of interest when incorporated into bizarre novelty videos, such as this frightening example, which uses the mouth’s caterwauling to “narrate” video of this birthing simulator.
(Thanks to our friend Stephen Worth of the Animation Archive for tipping us off on the mouth/birthing simulator remix).
American artist Stephen Shanabrook gives new meaning to the phrase “dark chocolate” with his 2006 piece “On the Road to Heaven Highway to Hell,” an exacting duplicate of the remains of a suicide bomber sculpted in everyone’s favorite confection.
Shanabrook, who spent his youth working at a chocolate factory, has previously turned the medium to macabre ends with his “Morgue Chocolates” series — a set of luxury chocolate boxes filled with confections representing stab wounds, bullet wounds, rough autopsy sutures, and other trauma sites. Like his suicide bomber, these pieces are crafted in loving detail. And there’s no questioning the realism as these sweets were cast from molds Shanabrook made from actual bodies while visiting morgues in Russia.
Not appetizing, you say? Apparently not everyone agrees, as some of Shanabrook’s pieces have disappeared into hungry mouths while on exhibition. “Mostly kids,” he explains in an interview with Vice Magazine. “They’re not scared of it. They just want the chocolate.”