T, or have not been until very recently (for a reassessment

T, or have not been until very recently (for a reassessment, see Lanchester). Jordanova mentions the “huge impact of photography in making widely available a disturbing literalism”: literalism being one of the attributes most often associated with “dangerous” images (101). Game designers are equally invested in the production of reality effects through computer graphics and sound. In the case explored here, the use of medical records as source material was intended to enhance the game’s realism, and hence its potential to frighten (or “unsettle” to use the term preferred by contemporary critics). But there is another SB 203580 msds reason to begin an article on medical archives and digital culture with a discussion of artists and anatomists. One of the achievements of The Quick and the Dead was to dislodge the idea of historical context as something singular (as in “it must be seen in context”) and to suggest, instead, the multiplicity of contexts and audiences. “For each image”, Jordanova reminds us, “there are innumerable contexts, since they are constantly being transplanted and transformed, re-viewed by each generation” (112).Photographies Vol. 5, No. 2, September 2012, pp. 179?02 ISSN 1754-0763 print/ISSN 1754-0771 online ?2012 Taylor Francis http://www.tandfonline.com http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17540763.2012.P H OTO G R AP H I E SRather dreadful subjects for the public viewOver the last few years my research has focused on medical images from the First World War. Some of the most intriguing examples are those in which art and medicine converge, as in Henry Tonks’ delicate pastel portraits of British servicemen with severe facial injuries and the equally exquisite — and unsettling — prosthetic masks made by the sculptor Francis Derwent Wood for some of these patients to conceal their disfigurement when surgical reconstruction was impossible (Figures 1 and 2; Biernoff “Flesh Poems” and “Rhetoric”). In both of these examples, art could be said to ameliorate the horrors of war, and to humanise men who had suffered what were considered at the time to be the most dehumanising of injuries. They are, to use Jordanova’s expression, examples of the happy marriage of art and medical science: collaborations defined by mutual regard and a common goal. In both cases, however, the sources that have survived contain assumptions about how, where and by whom the injured body may be seen — assumptions that have changed over time. This article considers the afterlives of some of these sources. When we encounter medical images in a museum or art gallery, or on a website like Morbid Anatomy, what kind of cultural and imaginative work do they perform?1 Are there ethical considerations raised by their redeployment or appropriation within the contexts of art and entertainment, education and academic research? I started thinking about these questions when I discovered that case photographs from First World War medical archives had been used in BioShock, a computer game designed by Ken RWJ 64809MedChemExpress RWJ 64809 Levine and released in August 2007. It won the BAFTA for Best Game that year, among a constellation of other awards, and is ranked in the top five Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games to date.2 Over 4 million copies of the game have been sold, BioShock II was released in February 2010, and Universal Studios has plans for a film.3 Without giving the plot away, this is a spectacularly gory game, and some of the most memorable encounters are with genetic mutants known as splicers. It is these.T, or have not been until very recently (for a reassessment, see Lanchester). Jordanova mentions the “huge impact of photography in making widely available a disturbing literalism”: literalism being one of the attributes most often associated with “dangerous” images (101). Game designers are equally invested in the production of reality effects through computer graphics and sound. In the case explored here, the use of medical records as source material was intended to enhance the game’s realism, and hence its potential to frighten (or “unsettle” to use the term preferred by contemporary critics). But there is another reason to begin an article on medical archives and digital culture with a discussion of artists and anatomists. One of the achievements of The Quick and the Dead was to dislodge the idea of historical context as something singular (as in “it must be seen in context”) and to suggest, instead, the multiplicity of contexts and audiences. “For each image”, Jordanova reminds us, “there are innumerable contexts, since they are constantly being transplanted and transformed, re-viewed by each generation” (112).Photographies Vol. 5, No. 2, September 2012, pp. 179?02 ISSN 1754-0763 print/ISSN 1754-0771 online ?2012 Taylor Francis http://www.tandfonline.com http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/17540763.2012.P H OTO G R AP H I E SRather dreadful subjects for the public viewOver the last few years my research has focused on medical images from the First World War. Some of the most intriguing examples are those in which art and medicine converge, as in Henry Tonks’ delicate pastel portraits of British servicemen with severe facial injuries and the equally exquisite — and unsettling — prosthetic masks made by the sculptor Francis Derwent Wood for some of these patients to conceal their disfigurement when surgical reconstruction was impossible (Figures 1 and 2; Biernoff “Flesh Poems” and “Rhetoric”). In both of these examples, art could be said to ameliorate the horrors of war, and to humanise men who had suffered what were considered at the time to be the most dehumanising of injuries. They are, to use Jordanova’s expression, examples of the happy marriage of art and medical science: collaborations defined by mutual regard and a common goal. In both cases, however, the sources that have survived contain assumptions about how, where and by whom the injured body may be seen — assumptions that have changed over time. This article considers the afterlives of some of these sources. When we encounter medical images in a museum or art gallery, or on a website like Morbid Anatomy, what kind of cultural and imaginative work do they perform?1 Are there ethical considerations raised by their redeployment or appropriation within the contexts of art and entertainment, education and academic research? I started thinking about these questions when I discovered that case photographs from First World War medical archives had been used in BioShock, a computer game designed by Ken Levine and released in August 2007. It won the BAFTA for Best Game that year, among a constellation of other awards, and is ranked in the top five Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 games to date.2 Over 4 million copies of the game have been sold, BioShock II was released in February 2010, and Universal Studios has plans for a film.3 Without giving the plot away, this is a spectacularly gory game, and some of the most memorable encounters are with genetic mutants known as splicers. It is these.

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