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Michele Barker, Anna Munster

Struck is a multi-channel video and sound installation that questions how we are able to gain an ‘understanding’ of disease through interpreting medical data and imaging. The piece addresses the development and implications of visualization techniques as they are used in the detection and interpretation of neurological disorders. The work continues Barker and Munster’s interest in examining scientific and medical representations of bodily and experiential difference, examining the convergence of different affective states with the processes involved in the visualization of disease itself.

Struck is a multi-layered work, which critically address the effects of being diagnosed with a neurological disease. What are the differences between clinical diagnosis and interpretation on the one hand, and experiencing neurological damage in one’s body, on the other? Rather than being an immediate emotional response to medical visualization and diagnosis, Struck looks historically at neurological diseases and specifically the technologies and imaging processes that have been used to visualize the brain and nerves.    In part, it reflects upon contemporary medical imaging techniques – with particular reference to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) – and the legacy these processes inherit from the late nineteenth century. The ‘discovery’ of neurological damage occurred in tandem with the treatment of hysterical patients in institutions.  Often the bodily gestures and expressions of hysterics and neurologically damaged patients were mistaken for each other.  Struck recalls this confusion and asks us to assess whether contemporary imaging and diagnosis is really any more accurate or less confused a century later.

Text by Andrew Murphie, from

Exhibition History: ‘Market of the Mind’ National Science Week, Department of Science, Training and Innovation, Australian Government, QV Square Melbourne Victoria, 13 August, 2010; Level 2 Contemporary Art Projects, Art Gallery of New South Wales, February 7 – March 22, 2007; winnerNational Digital Art Awards, “The Harries”, dynamic category, 2006. Exhibited at QUT Creative Industries Precinct, May 17–June 4, 2006; Remapped Realities, Eyebeam Gallery, New York, March 17-April 30, 2005.