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Fantastical Radiography
October 19, 2011 7:09 AM   Subscribe

"Radiography is more than a technique. It is rather a teknè; that is the only possible "means" to read reality, through matter rather than light." Benedetta Bonichi makes art using X-rays.

via Scientific American blogs (previously). Quotation via Wikipedia. And, um, "opere" means "works". Free Italian lesson for everybody!
posted by davidjmcgee (20 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Another artist using x-ray film:
Julia Barello
posted by allelopath at 7:16 AM on October 19, 2011


What does "teknè" mean?
posted by demiurge at 7:35 AM on October 19, 2011


Techne.
posted by davidjmcgee at 7:43 AM on October 19, 2011


Beautiful work. Thanks for posting.
posted by photoslob at 7:50 AM on October 19, 2011


Photographs of museum x-rays by David Maisel
posted by azarbayejani at 8:18 AM on October 19, 2011


Amazing. Wonderful. Memento Mori meets the 20th C.* Very well done.

* Yes, it's not longer the 20th, but it is 20th-C technology.
posted by IAmBroom at 8:41 AM on October 19, 2011


Benedetta Bonichi makes art using X-rays

Oooohhh hooooo hooooo look who's so fancy. Now try it the other way around.
posted by 7segment at 9:00 AM on October 19, 2011


I like the hybrid creatures.
posted by homunculus at 9:06 AM on October 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Techne is a wonderful word, and this post was worth it for that alone. Thanks.
posted by fake at 9:37 AM on October 19, 2011


I don't see the distinction between techne and technique that the quote supposes, after reading the wikipedia article and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy about the word. I don't think the quote is right either. Is it claiming that all other things we think of as techniques or media (photography, watercolor) are 'techne' as well?

Interesting radiographs though.
posted by demiurge at 9:47 AM on October 19, 2011


the only possible "means" to read reality, through matter rather than light

TOTALLY agree with this. Light? Light is some fucking BULLSHIT that was squirted out of an electron's ASS and now speeds off as fast as it can thinking it's "all that". I fucking SPIT on light and all well-lit things. Give me matter any day: strong, slow, dependable matter that will not let you down and doesn't just shoot off out of a policeman's torch, bouncing off shit like a fucking maniac and revealing to everyone with photoreceptive cells just who was stabbing who in that dark alley. And on that note, your Honour, my defence rests.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:35 AM on October 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


light cant even fucking make up its mind about where it is

yeah ok youre the fastest thing in the universe cool so i guess you'll be getting the fuck out of here in record time
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:38 AM on October 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


X-Rays are a form of light.
posted by ursus_comiter at 10:49 AM on October 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't see the distinction between techne and technique that the quote supposes

Wikipedia and the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosphy both define techne as something like "the rational method involved in producing an object or accomplishing a goal or objective." That's a correct translation, but it's potentially misleading.

Techniques can be learned by rote. Here are step by step instructions on how to build a picnic table. "Keep the sander flat on the wood and work in the same direction as the grain" -- that's technique. Going through those steps will produce a table in accordance with a rational method, but that is not what techne means, not at all.

Techne means craft as in craftsmanship. Having techne makes you an artiste. A person with techne can MacGuyver a sturdy table out of driftwood and twine in ten minutes. A person with techne might spend months sanding around every knot until she's got a museum piece that looks like it sprang from the ground fully formed. A person with techne knows wood. The rational standard in woodworking is thinking about wood the way she does. Techne makes her better qualified than anyone to write out a simple step-by-step guide to building a utilitarian table because she knows what newbies most need to know.

If you want techniques, just copy what the master does. If you want techne, be prepared to spend years sitting at the feet of the master.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:19 AM on October 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


Very cool, but I need to know if my HMO will cover a self-portrait.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:34 AM on October 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was hoping it might be a tequenine.
posted by Mister Moofoo at 12:06 PM on October 19, 2011


Techne means craft as in craftsmanship.

So you would agree with me that the quote makes little sense with that meaning of techne?
posted by demiurge at 12:19 PM on October 19, 2011


My number one rule for enjoying visual art is "Never ever ever read what the visual artist has to say about it."

It's not totally fair, but I'm guessing it's saved me from annoyance more than it's kept me from enlightenment.
posted by davidjmcgee at 12:27 PM on October 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


I like to think that she's some eccentric surgeon who is really into Greek myths or something, so she grafts bird heads onto female corpses and then x-rays them.

Perhaps that says more about me than anything else.
posted by book 'em dano at 2:32 PM on October 19, 2011


So you would agree with me that the quote makes little sense with that meaning of techne?

She might mean that doing radiography is for artists, not medical imaging technicians. I'm not going to defend her. What she's saying sounds pretty pretentious, even for my taste. I'd at least want more context to interpret what she's saying, and some quick googling didn't give it to me.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 12:40 PM on October 20, 2011


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