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Whose scalpel

THU Sept. 7, 2017, 7:40 PM-8:00 PM
SAT Sept. 9, 2017, 4:20 PM-4:40 PM
POSTCITY, First Floor Spiral Falls

Credit: 2017 Yen Tzu Chang / Fraunhofer MEVIS

Yen Tzu Chang (TW)

Whose scalpel is a sound performance combined with a visual and 3D-printed installation, realized with an application framework for medical-image processing. Mixing several methods from art and science, it is an imagination of the future and presents the issues in the relationship between human and machine in heart surgery.

The concept was developed out of three different areas: the application of sound in medical science, coronary artery bypass surgery, and machine learning. The performance is based on the assumption that in the near future a surgeon will work with an advising machine while in surgery.

The installation is built using the performer’s real heart from MRI scans, enlarging its actual size. It is designed to interact when the performer plugs in audio cables and bridges connections, as is the case in coronary-artery bypass surgery. During the performance, the storyline is led by the sound, the mixed video of medical images and the live performance from the webcam. The video and the sound not only lead the storyline but also present the machine, which gives instruction to the performer as a physician. The patient (the heart) being operated on symbolizes human consciousness and faith. The performance poses the question: If machines can reason even better than humans, will we as humans lose some abilities and not even believe ourselves anymore?


This project was realized in cooperation with Fraunhofer MEVIS and Ars Electronica Futurelab (Peter Freudling, Erwin Reitböck).