External and internal topographies: art on the uncanny limits of scan technology

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Fell, F 2015, 'External and internal topographies: art on the uncanny limits of scan technology', Transformations: Journal of Media & Culture, vol. 26.

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My training as an artist is firmly grounded in the traditional practice of figurative ceramic sculpture, with a track record of 20 years of solo and group projects and exhibitions. I have also reflected on my profession in residencies nationally as well as abroad, achieving funding to do research in art institutions across Australia, Asia, Europe and North-America. I have passed on my experience and professional concerns by teaching at the university level for two decades now. As a result of this interplay of practice, experiment, investigation and reflection, nowadays I break through the confining skin of ceramic sculpture in multiple, expansive ways. One increasingly important new stage in this process, which I will comment upon in this essay, is to explore the inner landscapes of my pieces by means of medical scan technology, so as to reveal their quasihuman interiors in a process of uncanny resonance with the apparent discreteness between artist and art work. These scan photographies and footage trace the creative tension between artwork and artist in ways that blur and question the self-evidence of their mutual embodiment and environment, the hospital environment constituting an adequate space of existential dis-ease in which such tensions can be revealed. I attempt to go beyond the mere surface of my body of work and my body as an artist to reveal new spaces which I see and experience as productive in their marginality and extraneousness to traditional art forms in clay. The first half of this paper gives a brief history of scanning technology and its postmodern, deconstructive uses in the arts precisely by its ability to see below and beyond the surface of tangible, material reality; the second half of this paper assesses my own location in the art-science dialogue.

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