Resonant Imaging Revealing Bodies
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Detail of still from video

Detail of still from Kenneth Wilkes's video. © 2000 Click for a larger image.

 

Detail of still from video


Detail of still from Kenneth Wilkes's video. © 2000 Click for a larger image.

 

Resonant Imaging
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Artist Kenneth Wilkes presents "Resonant Imaging," a five-minute clip of an in-progress conceptual movie that investigates the emotional experience of a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) procedure. The movie weaves MRI scans with still images and text reflecting the various mental states of MRI patients. The soundtrack includes sounds of MRI machines as they perform scans. As part of the development of this piece, Wilkes interviewed MRI patients. Following is Wilkes's background statement and the clip from "Resonant Imaging."


Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) technology is considered by many in the medical profession to be the gold standard for imaging the human body. It certainly has improved the ability to resolve human anatomy to a new standard, which enables more timely treatments.

In the majority of cases, the indications for ordering an MRI are clear and are initiated by the physician. However, there are growing numbers of situations when MRIs are ordered for reasons that are not medically indicated.

Patients often assume, for example, that their physicians can't possibly keep up with rapid advances in medical technology. They are threatened by the prospect that something can go wrong. Not uncommonly, patients request an MRI on their first visit to their doctor. Often the physician obliges by ordering an MRI even if the physical exam and history dictate otherwise.

The MRI has become synonymous in the eyes of the patient with not missing something. In our fear-based, commodified culture, we require this to mollify our anxiety.


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